Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Rep. Gowdy on Trump "Spygate" claims: Informants used "all day, every day"

Key Republican Trey Gowdy defends FBI against Trump attacks Republican in Russia probe 'even more convinced' FBI didn't spy on Trump campaign
Leonard Rios | 01 June, 2018, 22:41

Sessions told McGahn he planned to follow the advice of Justice Department lawyers who said he should recuse himself.

In this December 15, 2017, file photo, Trump, left, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions attend the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va. Sessions has lasted longer than may of Trump's appointees, despite enduring public criticism from the president.

Gowdy told CBS This Morning, "there are lots of really good lawyers in the country". Citing the lawmaker's comments in a Twitter posting, Trump added: "And I wish I did!"

The question stemmed from a New York Times report that said Trump had asked Sessions to go back on his decision to recuse.

Before Sessions recused himself, Trump reportedly asked White House counsel Don McGahn to lobby Sessions to retain control of the Russian Federation probe. I don't know they've aired them out yet.

But these claims ignore the fact that Trump was personally warned in August 2016 by senior USA intelligence officials that foreign adversaries - including Russian Federation - would likely attempt to infiltrate his team or gather intelligence about his campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter.

It was Sessions who attracted his ire on Wednesday, a day after The New York Times described an angry meeting in Florida past year when Trump demanded Sessions reverse his decision to step away from Russia-related matters.

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Gowdy explained that he, "never heard the term "spy" used", in his investigation and did not see evidence of that. He urged Sessions to take back control of the Russian Federation investigation at least four separate times, "until fairly late in the year".

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment about Trump's assessment of Sessions.

Instead, Trump has been lambasting special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigating team for "undermining" the credibility of the Russian meddling probe. One reason is that Rosenstein, with whom Trump is also frustrated over the same investigation, would be in line to take over the Justice Department.

Legal analysts say the president's constant attacks threaten federal law enforcement's traditional independence inside the executive branch, and that leaders there have taken unorthodox steps to appease the commander in chief, such as expanding an inspector general investigation upon presidential request.

The former mayor of New York City urged that the investigation should end soon so that it doesn't affect Republican chances in November's midterm elections.

The Daily Show host then used Rudy Giuliani's admission that the Spygate push is meant to discredit the Mueller probe and that the "jury" should be "the American people".

If FBI investigators were to discover wrongdoing by Trump and he did become a target, a prior public announcement would have created a duty for the FBI to correct its past statement, Comey said. The US President has earlier said that he wanted an attorney general to shield him "legally and politically".

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