Top Intel Dem warns Republicans: Don't try to out FBI source

Top Intel Dem warns Republicans: Don't try to out FBI source
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals 30 million users affected by hack | Grassley presses Google to explain data practices | Senators warn Canada against using Chinese telecom firm | FCC responds to net neutrality lawsuits Senators urge Canada against using Huawei in 5G development due to national security concerns MORE (D-Va.) warned Republican lawmakers on Friday not to expose the identity of a secret FBI informant, saying that to do so would be "irresponsible" — and potentially illegal.

"It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election," Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. 

"Anyone who is entrusted with our nation’s highest secrets should act with the gravity and seriousness of purpose that knowledge deserves," he added. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Warner's comments come as some GOP lawmakers and allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE seize on reports of an embedded FBI informant who fed investigators information about possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Some congressional Republicans have raised concerns that the FBI may have planted a mole within the Trump campaign in order to spy on the then-candidate and his team in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Even Trump suggested on Thursday that the Obama administration had intentionally planted the informant in his presidential campaign, claiming that the matter could end up being "bigger than Watergate."

The New York Times reported last week that a top-secret FBI informant had met with two former Trump campaign advisers, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosCalif. man ensnared in Mueller probe sentenced to 6 months in prison The Mueller investigation: Where it stands at the midterms Mr. President, tear down the wall hiding those FISA abuses MORE and Carter Page.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that allies of the president had begun waging a campaign to expose the role of the informant. In response, the FBI has been working to soften the blow if the source's identity is outed