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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 SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 WarnerBiden leans on foreign policy establishment to build team Trump relents as GSA informs Biden transition to begin Hillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract 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 John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race 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 PapadopoulosNot treason, not a crime — but definitely a gross abuse of power Tale of two FBI cases: Clinton got warned, Trump got investigated Trump says he would consider pardons for those implicated in Mueller investigation MORE and Carter Page.

The Justice Department (DOJ) denied a request earlier this month from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight 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.