DOJ offers new briefing as lawmakers dispute Trump spy claim

DOJ offers new briefing as lawmakers dispute Trump spy claim

DOJ offers new briefing as lawmakers dispute Trump spy claim

"I think Chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate", Ryan said. "There is no evidence of collusion".

Ryan was asked on Wednesday by reporters at the US Capitol whether Trump can legally pardon himself, most pertinently if he ends up falling foul of the Russian Federation investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that evolved out of that early scrutiny. Ryan and Gowdy attended the first briefing with Nunes and Schiff.

The comments contradict Trump, who has insisted the agency planted a "spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win". But they eventually relented after pressure from Trump, Nunes and Ryan. "We still have some unanswered questions", Ryan said.

"Look, if you want to disagree with what we were briefed on and say that it was a spy?" Instead, some are carrying water for a Justice Department that has already resisted congressional oversight, misrepresented material facts to a FISA court, improperly redacted documents and failed to disclose spying on a presidential campaign.

"Frankly the sooner the Department of Justice complies with all of our document requests, which are legitimate document requests, the better this is going to be for everybody, and had they complied with the document requests earlier when we made them, we probably could have spared the country of all of this drama", he said.

On Wednesday, Ryan agreed with a key House Republican who says there's no evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted a "spy" in Trump's 2016 campaign.

The Speaker also left himself room to eventually backtrack, if he ever discovers evidence that confirms the deep state embedded a spy in the Trump campaign (then craftily declined to use any of the information they collected to keep Trump out of office).

The comments came as Mueller's investigation, which includes possible illegal obstruction of the Russian Federation probe by the president, entered its second year.

On Thursday, after the Justice Department offered the new briefing, Burr said "I have a hard time figuring out what else they could produce".

On the debate over whether the president can pardon himself, the speaker also echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's view that he was not sure of the legal answer but that "obviously, the answer is he shouldn't and no one is above the law. What do you say to them?"

At the start of the week, Trump tweeted that he has the "absolute" right to pardon himself, but wouldn't because he's "done nothing wrong".

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