Republicans want new special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia probe 'misconduct'

White House GOP lawmakers meeting Justice officials Thursday

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that the plan for the White House to hold the meeting "where "highly classified and other information" will be shared with members of Congress is highly irregular and inappropriate" because, in Schumer's view, "the president and his staff should not be involved in the viewing or dissemination of sensitive investigatory information involving any open investigation, let alone one about his own activities and campaign".

Sanders said that Nunes and Gowdy, both Republicans, would attend the meeting with FBI Director Chris Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O'Callaghan.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be asked to look into "any irregularities" with the "tactics concerning the Trump campaign", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration! He traveled to the White House for a meeting with Trump, White House chief of staff John Kelly and FBI Director Christopher Wray. His demand came after reports that the FBI's investigation of alleged links between Trump and the Kremlin relied partly on informants who were connected with the campaign.

Monday's announcement comes as the Trump administration continues to strike a defiant tone over Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation and the Trump campaign's potential collusion with Moscow's alleged effort to sway the 2016 election.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Russian Federation investigation, calling it a "witch hunt".

Sanders said Democrats weren't included in the meeting because they hadn't requested the records themselves, and suggested reporters ask them why they should be "randomly invited". Press: Why Trump should thank FBI Trump administration sued for not releasing FBI morale survey results MORE and whether that constituted obstruction of justice.

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Without substantiation, Trump tweeted in March 2017 that former President Barack Obama had conducted surveillance the previous October at Trump Tower, the NY skyscraper where Trump ran his campaign and transition and maintains a residence.

Trump has reportedly considered firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who now oversees Mueller's probe, or firing Mueller.

Rosenstein risked Trump's ire if he didn't respond, but it's highly unusual for a president to intervene in a Department investigation in this way.

"To my knowledge, the Democrats have not requested that information", she said. "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes", Rosenstein said on Sunday night, "we need to know about it and take appropriate action".

New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who would chair the House Judiciary Committee in a Democratic Congress, told the New Yorker that to successfully impeach Trump, "You have to have a situation where some appreciable fraction-not a majority, but an appreciable fraction-of the people on the other side will grudgingly admit by the end of the proceedings that 'Yeah, they really had to do it'".

Either way, Trump appears to have accomplished what he wanted from this dust-up. But as far as Trump is concerned, there was nothing even faintly scandalous about his demand.

Sunday was not the first time that Trump accused his predecessor of politically motivated activity against him. Comey later testified to Congress that internal reviews found no information to support the president's tweets. Horowitz is already investigating whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly relied on the Steele dossier in seeking warrants to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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