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Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Warner Send Letter to DOJ on Materials Briefed to “Gang of 8”

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Washington, June 5, 2018 | comments

Washington, DC – Today, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting that the Department of Justice confirm that they have not given the President’s outside counsel, White House staff or the President access to the same classified information briefed to Congress.

“We remain deeply troubled by President Donald Trump and his legal team’s persistent efforts to interfere with the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation and undermine your agencies’ lawful activities,” the Members wrote in the letter. “These developments leave us concerned that, through his legal team or otherwise, the President will continue to pressure your agencies to divulge investigative information which he, his attorneys, and his congressional allies then could manipulate or even disclose publicly for the President’s benefit. That would be a terrible abuse of power.”

In the letter, Schumer, Pelosi, Warner and Schiff also request confirmation that the DOJ and FBI have no plans to convey such information to the same individuals in the future outside of appropriate judicial proceedings, and that going forward, the DOJ will not brief additional Members of Congress beyond the “Gang of 8” on these matters.

After the May 24 briefing to the “Gang of 8,” Schumer, Pelosi, Warner and Schiff released the following statement: “Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a ‘spy’ in the Trump Campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols.”

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The full letter is below:

Dear Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Director Wray:

We remain deeply troubled by President Donald Trump and his legal team’s persistent efforts to interfere with the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation and undermine your agencies’ lawful activities.    

Most recently, Rudy Giuliani, one of the President’s personal attorneys, repeated publicly that the White House and the President’s lawyers expect access to classified information of the utmost sensitivity related to the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation. Executive agencies earlier had briefed this information to select Members of Congress in response to a publicly-announced directive from President Trump.  Giuliani also said that the President will refuse to be interviewed by the Special Counsel, unless the President’s attorneys are permitted to review related classified documents.

These demands, if fulfilled, would grossly violate our system of checks and balances, established procedure and fundamental norms. Although he has not been indicted, President Trump’s own conduct reportedly remains under examination by the Special Counsel. And absent an indictment, the subjects of federal investigation cannot access law enforcement or related national security information for any reason.

As the President’s attorney has made clear, his legal team wishes to obtain the classified information at issue, not for any legitimate purpose—but instead to frustrate and discredit publicly the work of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  

These developments leave us concerned that, through his legal team or otherwise, the President will continue to pressure your agencies to divulge investigative information which he, his attorneys, and his congressional allies then could manipulate or even disclose publicly for the President’s personal or political benefit. That would be a terrible abuse of power. 

We thus respectfully request that the Department of Justice confirm, in writing, by no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, June 11

(1)   that the following parties have not been given access to the classified information, which executive branch agencies briefed to the “Gang of 8” on May 24, 2018:

  • Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow, or any other attorney who represents or has represented President Trump in his personal capacity;

  • White House staff, including attorneys from the White House Counsel’s office;

  • President Donald J. Trump;

(2)   that DOJ and FBI have no plans to convey such information in the future to the President and his attorneys outside of an appropriate judicial proceeding; and

(3)   that going forward, DOJ and FBI will not brief additional Members of Congress who are not part of the “Gang of 8” on these matters.


Thank you for your immediate attention to our concerns, which are of the utmost urgency.  We look forward to your reply. 

Sincerely,

NANCY PELOSI
House Democratic Leader

CHUCK SCHUMER
Senate Democratic Leader

ADAM SCHIFF
Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee

MARK WARNER
Vice Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

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