The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), asked the Justice Department late Thursday evening to launch a criminal probe into how the name of a confidential FBI informant was leaked to the media.
In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Nadler said he was “deeply disturbed” that someone had “outed an intelligence asset” for political reasons.
“It is a breach of the duty we owe to these men and women, who serve our country at great risk and trust us to protect their identities,” he wrote in the letter, which was shared on Twitter. “It does great harm to our ability to collect intelligence from other confidential sources. Moreover, the intentional disclosure of the identity of a covert agent is a crime under federal law.”
A deliberate decision to expose the identity of a confidential source is reckless and dangerous. Moreover, the decision to out this operative may be a crime. Today, I wrote to the DOJ and FBI to investigate the source of this disclosure and hold the perpetrators accountable. pic.twitter.com/E7uO2cuUA2
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 24, 2018
Last week, several media outlets published the name of a secret FBI informant who reportedly met with two officials on the Trump campaign in 2016 as part of a broader counterintelligence undertaking to determine the scope of Russian meddling.
Trump has seized on reports of the informant meeting with two officials on his campaign — Carter Page and George Papadopolous — to further cement his claims of “deep state” within the Justice Department that he claims is determined to undermine him. He has coined the whole ordeal “spygate,” claiming the informant was dispatched by the Obama administration to spy on his campaign.