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Schumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line'

Schumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress Former state Rep. Vernon Jones launches challenge to Kemp in Georgia Schumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform MORE (D-N.Y.) on Saturday said Republican lawmakers’ efforts to uncover the identity of an FBI informant in order to obstruct special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s investigation comes close to "crossing a legal line."

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Schumer was tweeting his support of a statement from the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerNew US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations Democrats brace for new 'defund the police' attacks Intelligence leaders push for mandatory breach notification law MORE (Va.), who warned Republican lawmakers against exposing the identity of the informant who gave investigators information about possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Warner said in a separate Twitter thread on Friday, "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."

Exposing sources “makes it that much harder for every part of the intelligence community to gather intelligence on those who wish to do us harm,” Warner wrote.

The next day, Schumer said Warner's statement was "on the money" and serves as a severe warning to GOP representatives who are trying to tamper with the investigation.

Schumer and Warner’s comments come after a report from The Washington Post alleged President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE had begun a campaign to expose the role of the informant.

The New York Times reported last week that an FBI informant met with two former Trump campaign advisers, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE and Carter Page.

The Justice Department (DOJ) denied a request earlier this month from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE (R-Calif.) for details related to the source. The DOJ said that releasing such information would put lives at risk and endanger national security.

On Saturday afternoon, the president responded to the news, tweeting, “if the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal.” Trump concluded by calling for the Justice Department to release the documents Nunes requested.