Trump boosts pressure on Justice Department in Russian Federation probe

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Ryan spoke as Justice Department officials held two meetings with lawmakers on Thursday, succumbing to demands from President Donald Trump after revelations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had a confidential informant make contact with officials on Trump's presidential campaign in 2016.

If the administration can not function, the burden of this constantly shifting investigation will give rise to a narrative that any failure was due to the Mueller diversion - that the Trump administration was stabbed in the back.

Democrats have warned that Trump's fixation on the issue - he has tweeted about it repeatedly - suggests he is attempting to undermine the year-old investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with his campaign. Early Wednesday morning, the president said that "SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!" "We have strong institutions in this country".

By the time both sessions ended Thursday evening, each side had their time before reporters' microphones.

After Democratic complaints, the White House said late Wednesday that it would also give an additional briefing to group of lawmakers known as the "Gang of Eight" after the Memorial Day recess.

As for the proposed meeting with Mueller - who is investigating whether or not Trump or his allies colluded with Russian Federation at any point during the campaign - the president's legal advisers have protested the sit-down, as many believe the special counsel could catch him committing perjury.

However, Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, eventually joined them after an outcry that the meeting would be partisan.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, wants an investigation into how the name of a confidential intelligence source appeared in the press.

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Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, pointed out that the intentional disclosure of the identity of a covert agent is a crime under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Attending the first briefing at the Justice Department were Nunes, Ryan, Schiff and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

Ryan said he told the administration that whatever briefing is held for Republicans should also be given to Democrats.

The details continued to be fluid Thursday.

Trump said that lawmakers will probably be troubled once they see documents regarding the use of the source.

Nunes attended both briefings Thursday.

The plans for the briefings - even those that were announced publicly - changed repeatedly in the hours leading up to them, the apparent result of a behind-the-scenes, partisan tug-of-war about who should be briefed, where, and alongside whom.

Information about Halper was first leaked by the Daily Caller.

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"What is the point of the separate briefing if not to cause partisan trouble?"

Trump, and other Republicans, have demanded an IG investigation of FBI on the matter.

Some Republicans in the House are calling for another special counsel to be named to investigate special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe and for the informant to be identified.

It remained unclear what, if any, spying was done.

The proposed January interview came amid intensifying talks at the time as Mueller pressed the President's team for a sit-down as the only way the investigators could determine the President's intent on actions after his inauguration.

Trump has told confidants in recent days that the revelation of an informant was potential evidence that the upper echelon of federal law enforcement had conspired against him, according to the three people who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

U.S. President Donald Trump is on a risky path in his open battle with the U.S. Justice Department, which experts bill as a bad sign for the future of U.S. democracy.

Former FBI Director James Comey is defending the FBI's use of a secret informant in the Russian Federation investigation, saying the practice is "tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country".

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