White House: GOP lawmakers meeting Justice officials Thursday
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy will meet with senior Justice Department, FBI and intelligence officials on Thursday about the lawmakers’ document request related to a confidential intelligence source.
Sanders said that Nunes and Gowdy, both Republicans, would attend the meeting with FBI Director Chris Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O’Callaghan. No White House staff will attend, Sanders said, and no Democrats were invited either.
The meeting could resolve a contentious fight between Nunes and House Republicans with the Justice Department over his subpoena for documents related to a confidential source that met with members of the Trump campaign. President Donald Trump and some conservatives have claimed that the FBI may have been spying on the campaign and have demanded investigations into the matter.
Sanders said that no Democrats were attending the meeting because they did not ask to attend. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, on Monday called for any meeting on documents related to the confidential source to be bipartisan.
“For every Republican at the table, there should be the Democratic counterpart,” Schumer said Tuesday. “If Chairman Nunes is there, (top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee Adam) Schiff should be there. If Sen. (Chuck) Grassley is there, Sen. (Dianne) Feinstein should be there. It should be bipartisan.”
Schiff said on Monday that he did expect to be included in the meeting. Asked if he would take part, he told CNN: “I presume I am, but I don’t know exactly what they have in mind.”
Previously, Schiff has received a separate briefing from Nunes and Gowdy at the Justice Department around the same time frame.
Trump tasked chief of staff John Kelly with arranging the briefing during a meeting Monday with Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has previously briefed lawmakers when they’ve subpoenaed sensitive Justice Department and FBI documents.