WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested nothing earth-shattering was revealed in a classified briefing by FBI and DoJ officials to congressional leaders about surveillance of the Trump campaign.
“Nothing particularly surprising,” McConnell told Fox News on Thursday evening. “But again it was classified so there’s no real reporting I can give to you.”
Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats travelled Thursday to Capitol Hill to brief House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and McConnell. CNN reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House attorney Emmett Flood were present at the beginning of the meeting.
The Democratic participants said the briefing reinforced their view that reports of unauthorized surveillance are false.
“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,” Schumer, Pelosi, Warner and Schiff said in a joint statement.
A separate meeting was held earlier in the day at DoJ in which Nunes, Schiff, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were briefed.
Democrats opposed holding separate meetings. They argued that in doing so the integrity of historically bipartisan intelligence briefings was comprised.
Republicans have said that the FBI and DoJ have displayed bias against Trump in their investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. They say Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team includes many Democrats and Hillary Clinton loyalists.
Earlier this week, House Republicans proposed legislation to appoint a second special counsel to look into claims of surveillance abuse as well as the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton in the Clinton email probe.
This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News
Bryan is an award-winning political journalist who has extensive experience covering Congress and Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.