Thursday’s special meetings arranged by Chief of Staff John Kelly at the direction of President Donald Trump were intended to result in the DOJ and FBI turning over requested documents to House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
Recently, Nunes and Oversight Chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) indicated they would no longer attend meetings unless the DOJ was ready to turnover requested documents.
Nunes wanted an unredacted memo which outlined special counsel Robert Mueller’s scope of authority and the name of the FBI secret informant who was allegedly planted inside the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
The first meeting on Thursday met at noon at the Justice Department with Nunes, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Gowdy and Democratic House Intel Committee Co-Chair Adam Schiff.
Trump’s attorney Emmet Flood caused some Democrats to have a brief meltdown when he also appeared at the classified meeting.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said:
“Never seen a Gang of Eight meeting that included any presence from the White House. Those individuals left before the substance of it. Unusual times.”
“Although he did not participate in the meetings which followed, as the White House’s attorney handling the Special Counsel’s investigation, his involvement — in any capacity — was entirely improper, and I made this clear to him.”
However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders set the record straight when she announced that Flood and Kelly were there to “facilitate meetings” between the DOJ and Congress. Both men left the meetings before they began “after making brief comments.”
“Neither Chief Kelly nor Mr. Flood actually attended the meetings but did make brief remarks before the meetings started to relay the President’s desire for as much openness as possible under the law. They also conveyed the President’s understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government.”
It was unclear whether Nunes and Gowdy received the documents that had requested.
According to Sarah Westwood, a reporter with CNN, Gowdy and Nunes did not receive the documents.
Westwood said: “Sources tell me Gowdy and Nunes did not receive the documents they requested during the noon meeting at DOJ, despite the pleas for openness from Kelly and Flood at the start of the briefing.”
Sources tell me Gowdy and Nunes did not receive the documents they requested during the noon meeting at DOJ, despite the pleas for openness from Kelly and Flood at the start of the briefing
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) May 24, 2018
However, Ryan released a statement, indicating:
“I look forward to the prompt completion of the intelligence committee’s oversight work in this area now that they are getting the cooperation necessary for them to complete their work while protecting sources and methods.”
.@RepAdamSchiff: “Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols.” pic.twitter.com/6EaVchw2SF
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 24, 2018
Another meeting was scheduled for later in the day with the same people, minus Gowdy who did not attend, along with others from the Democratic Party.
Those in attendance for the 2 pm meeting which lasted for approximately one and half hours were as follows:
Those attending Gang of 8 mtg at the Capitol:
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 24, 2018
Neither Nunes or Gowdy released statements following either meeting to indicate whether they received the documents they requested.
However, later in the day, an updated report claims that Nunes did not receive the documents from either the DOJ or FBI.
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