President Trump, in a meeting with top Justice Department officials Monday, was seeking that the Department turn over information about a reported informant the FBI used while investigating his presidential campaign, for use for his own legal team, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told Politico.
“He wants them to turn over the information that exists about the informant to the House and Senate committees — all the memos they have,” Giuliani said, adding that memos documenting the informants findings should also “be made available to us on a confidential basis.”
“We should be at least allowed to read them so we know this exculpatory evidence is being preserved,” he said.
Trump’s legal team, which Giuliani joined recently, is in the process of negotiating a possible sit-down interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Giuliani told USA Today that the memos could also play a role in whether Trump decides to be questioned by Mueller.
“I think they could help us, if they show there is no original basis for the investigation,” Giuliani said.
The New York Times, the Washington Post and others have reported that the FBI — in the early stages of its probe into contacts between Trump campaign and Russia — used an informant who interacted with members of the campaign. The Justice Department has resisted turning over information about the individual to congressional Republicans, citing fears about blowing the longtime source’s cover.
The White House initially sided with the Justice Department, but Trump in a tweet Sunday issued a “demand” that the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI “the infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes.”
The Justice Department a few hours later said that it was referring the matter to DOJ Office of Inspector General, which is already investigating the surveillance warrant the DOJ successfully sought on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The Inspector General’s Office declined to comment on the Justice Department’s announcement.
On Monday, Trump met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who’s overseeing Mueller’s investigation, as well as FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that after meeting with the President, the “Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign.”
“It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested,” she said.