Schiff: Deal over FBI source an 'erosion' of Justice Department's independence

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is pointing to a recent agreement between Justice Department off...

Posted: May 22, 2018 2:01 PM
Updated: May 22, 2018 2:01 PM

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is pointing to a recent agreement between Justice Department officials and the White House to investigate the use of a confidential source sent to speak with Trump campaign aides as an attack on the department's independence.

"We're seeing an erosion of the independence of the Justice Department," California Rep. Adam Schiff told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill. "That is gravely concerning."

After a meeting at the White House Monday, top officials at the Justice Department, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence agreed to share highly classified information with lawmakers related to the Russia investigation amid an escalating controversy over the bureau's use of a confidential intelligence source during the 2016 presidential campaign. This comes after House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, subpoenaed the DOJ for documents related to the confidential FBI source and has threatened to hold Justice officials in contempt of Congress.

The Justice Department had up to this point resisted calls to turn over the information that congressional Republicans have requested on the source, saying it would pose a grave risk to the source's life and could deter future sources from cooperating.

"I certainly have concerns as to why this decision was made," Schiff told CNN Tuesday.

"This is information that the Justice Department and FBI already expressed grave concerns about in terms of potential risks to people's lives, in terms of jeopardizing relationships with allies or compromising the investigation."

Schiff questioned the timing of the Justice Department's decision to meet the White House's demands and if the White House meeting was "merely the result of presidential intervention to try to obtain these materials for the Trump legal defense team."

The California Democrat also expressed concern over whether there would be a White House presence in the meeting between lawmakers and intelligence officials.

If so, Schiff said, "it would be a hugely inappropriate and abuse of power to be pushing for this release of closely held information to the Congress if it's really just about providing it to the White House and the President's lawyers."

After recent reports that an intelligence source had met with his campaign officials in the leadup to the election, Trump demanded on Sunday that the DOJ "look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes."

Later Sunday, the DOJ responded by asking its inspector general to examine Trump's allegations.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 297321

Reported Deaths: 6805
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19814231
Hinds18949395
Harrison16886282
Rankin12842265
Jackson12750234
Lee9720163
Madison9516204
Jones8035148
Forrest7289138
Lauderdale6872228
Lowndes6061140
Lamar593381
Lafayette5767114
Washington5232130
Bolivar4630124
Oktibbeha443095
Panola433698
Pearl River4212132
Warren4144115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall405995
Monroe3996129
Union397174
Neshoba3848171
Lincoln3624104
Hancock352978
Leflore3400121
Sunflower320986
Tate303974
Pike302697
Scott296171
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292066
Itawamba290675
Coahoma283069
Tippah280065
Copiah279959
Simpson277581
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255641
Leake254172
Covington250280
Grenada248878
Adams235778
George232745
Newton232753
Winston222179
Jasper214145
Tishomingo213266
Attala206971
Chickasaw201954
Holmes182870
Clay179452
Stone173429
Tallahatchie171739
Clarke170773
Calhoun158628
Smith153833
Yalobusha145736
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123235
Lawrence121421
Carroll119425
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99824
Claiborne99030
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91423
Quitman77514
Franklin76420
Choctaw70117
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499411

Reported Deaths: 10149
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719951403
Mobile36396741
Madison32674469
Tuscaloosa24391423
Montgomery22789523
Shelby22250219
Baldwin19915289
Lee15070161
Calhoun13961296
Morgan13785255
Etowah13413327
Marshall11458215
Houston10121264
Elmore9509190
Limestone9435139
St. Clair9050228
Cullman8993183
Lauderdale8628214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7643165
Walker6600260
Jackson6551104
Autauga634492
Blount6252128
Colbert6007121
Coffee5261104
Dale4680107
Russell407534
Franklin400779
Covington3996107
Chilton3911104
Escambia379473
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3428142
Pike292973
Marion288796
Lawrence285787
Winston258568
Bibb246058
Marengo244657
Geneva240270
Pickens225757
Barbour213851
Hale212569
Fayette202657
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165141
Washington157036
Macon147845
Crenshaw146755
Clay146254
Cleburne140141
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123225
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter100832
Coosa90324
Greene88732
Choctaw55723
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