Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi sent a letter Wednesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to convey their dismay about a Democrat-free DOJ briefing on the FBI informant planned for Thursday with the White House.
“This meeting is completely improper in its proposed form and would set a damaging precedent for your institutions and the rule of law,” the letter reads. “We can think of no legitimate oversight justification for the ex parte dissemination – at the direction of the president – of investigative information to the president’s staunchest defenders in Congress and, ultimately, to the president’s legal defense team.”
The meeting, brokered by Chief of Staff John Kelly, is meant to provide information on the FBI informant President Donald Trump claims infiltrated his 2016 campaign. Currently, attendees will be Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, DOJ official Ed O’Callahan, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
Schumer and Pelosi, the leaders of Senate and House Democrats respectively, go on to urge Wray and Rosenstein against holding the meeting at all, due to the possibility of distorted leaks and interference with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
They conclude: “However, if you have determined in your best judgment that Justice Department participation in the meeting is the only way to prevent this situation from devolving into an outright constitutional crisis, then we believe you must insist on the only appropriate mechanism for highly sensitive briefings that might implicate intelligence sources and methods – a bipartisan Gang of Eight briefing that involves congressional leadership from both chambers.”