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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.

Confirmed Cases: 113081

Reported Deaths: 3231
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 154942

Reported Deaths: 2660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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