Nunes sets new deadline for DOJ on use of FBI informant

Nunes sets new deadline for DOJ on use of FBI informant
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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears ‘Fox & Friends’ host asks if McCabe opening FBI probe into Trump was attempt to ‘overthrow government’ Nunes says GOP lawmakers looking through Russia transcripts, will make DOJ referrals MORE (R-Calif.) is demanding the Justice Department tell him by Monday evening whether the FBI used confidential informants “against” members or associates of the Trump campaign.

Nunes, in a Sunday letter, also asked Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE whether he or FBI Director Christopher Wray is “responsible for compliance with the Committee’s subpoenas.”

Nunes is giving Rosenstein until 5 p.m. on Monday to provide the requested information, the latest in a string of deadlines he has placed on the Justice Department.

A small cadre of House Republicans, led by Nunes, have been wrangling for months over documents related to the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, which includes probing possible ties between Trump's campaign and Moscow. They have accused the department of stonewalling Congress.

In a pair of letters turned over late Friday night, the FBI revealed that it had handed over thousands of new documents to lawmakers probing the origins of what is now special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation.

But although House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden MORE (R-Wis.) said that lawmakers were “finally getting access” to the documents they had requested — calling a Justice Department request for more time “reasonable” — Nunes on Sunday said the bureau’s latest responses “raised more questions than answers.”

“These questions include whether the FBI and Department of Justice leadership intend to obey the law and fully comply with duly authorized congressional subpoenas,” Nunes wrote.

Among the information Nunes is seeking is documentation on the use of a confidential informant in the early stages of the investigation into the campaign. The use of such sources is common in counterintelligence investigations, but the revelation of the source and his role has ignited outrage on the right. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE and his allies have characterized the man as a “spy” planted there by the FBI to undercut his campaign.

The Justice Department has resisted providing information on the informant to the whole of Congress, arguing that it would needlessly expose sensitive sources and methods and endanger lives. It has limited briefings to the Gang of Eight — the top Republican and Democrat in each chamber, as well as the top Republican and Democrat on each of the Intelligence committees.

Nunes on Sunday blasted that limitation as “unacceptable” and said that “the alleged referral of the ‘Committee’s request for transcripts or summaries of conversations between human source(s) and Trump campaign officials’ to the Director of National Intelligence does not relieve the FBI and DOJ from full compliance with the Committee’s subpoena.”

Trump has threatened to involve himself in the dispute over the documents related to the investigation into his own campaign — something critics have said risks a dangerous politicization of the Justice Department. Previous presidents have sought to maintain at least the appearance of an independent Justice Department.

“I have tried to stay uninvolved with the Department of Justice and FBI (although I do not legally have to), because of the now totally discredited and very expensive Witch Hunt currently going on,” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

“But you do have to ask why the DOJ & FBI aren’t giving over requested documents?”

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