Group of House Republicans has been quietly investigating the DOJ and FBI for weeks

Group of House Republicans has been quietly investigating the DOJ and FBI for weeks
© Greg Nash

A group of House Republicans has been quietly investigating the Justice Department and the FBI for weeks over concerns the agencies improperly handled the unverified contents of a dossier alleging ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE and Russia.

Politico reported Wednesday that the group, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Schiff, Nunes pressed DOJ for Mueller briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Mueller report will dominate this week MORE (R-Calif.), has been quietly working without the knowledge of the committee's Democrats alongside the House investigation to examine what they see as corruption in the nation's highest law enforcement body.

The dossier, which was compiled by a former British intelligence agent during the 2016 campaign, contained a number of salacious allegations about Trump's ties to Russia. Trump was warned personally about the dossier by the FBI, which has said the claims made within are unverified.

Other lawmakers reported to be in the group would not comment about the meetings, but did not deny their existence nor the lawmakers' personal participation.

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"I don't talk about what we do behind closed doors," Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayDems ramp up subpoena threats GOP zeroes in on Schiff Pelosi rushes to Schiff's defense MORE (R-Texas) told Politico. Conaway also took over the House's investigation into Russia's election meddling after Nunes recused himself earlier this year.

"I'm not going to talk about that," said Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingMcCarthy holds courtesy meeting with ex-Rep. Grimm Dem rep calls for 'happy medium' on immigration Republicans defend McCain amid Trump attacks MORE (R-N.Y.), when asked by Politico.

Nunes, who stepped away from his work on the Russia probe over meetings at the White House viewed by some as improper, has questioned the integrity of law enforcement agencies in past interviews.

"I hate to use the word corrupt, but they’ve become at least so dirty that who’s watching the watchmen? Who’s investigating these people?" Nunes said on Fox News earlier in December. "There is no one."

The committee's Democrats responded to the news by saying they hadn't heard of the meetings, but were unsurprised by the GOP's latest efforts to discredit Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.

"I think what we are seeing in our committee ... is an effort to attack the Department of Justice, an effort to attack the FBI, to attack Bob Mueller, is an effort to undermine the investigations and these institutions out of fear of what they’ll find and try to discredit them in advance," said ranking member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDem lawmaker: 'Quite clear' Trump committed impeachable offenses Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars MORE (D-Calif.). "It’s a pernicious thing to do that will ultimately inflict long-term damage on these institutions."