A group of House Republicans called Tuesday for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate concerns about the Department of Justice and FBI, just days after Trump first called for an investigation into whether his campaign was "infiltrated or surveilled" for by an alleged FBI informant.
Democrats will be shut out of a White House-brokered meeting during which Justice Department officials will tell two House GOP chairmen about an intelligence source who provided information about President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
But officials have denied the confidential source was somehow embedded within Trump's campaign.
There was no immediate response from House leadership aides on whether the measure might come up for a vote.
Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, pounced on news that broke last week that the FBI's investigation into Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election included the use of government informants, including University of Cambridge professor emeritus Stefan A. Halper, an American. "That's my guess. We're trying to get clarification from the department", Schiff said.
"Trump has engaged over the past year and a half in a series of incremental transgressions of the norms of DOJ independence", says John Bies, who worked in the Justice Department for almost a decade under President Barack Obama and is now chief counsel at American Oversight.
Attorney Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times that Mueller intends to wrap up the obstruction investigation by September 1, however, if the special counsel can't interview Trump on obstruction, that may no longer be the case.
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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) went one step further at a Tuesday news conference, calling on the president to orchestrate Mueller's termination.
Trump made the demand amid days of public venting about the special counsel investigation, which he has deemed a "witch hunt" that he says has yielded no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.
They also are concerned the meeting will culminate in the outing of the identity of the source or information about that person.
Their goal is to move past a standoff that threatens to drag out Mueller's investigation, and appears to be part of a larger strategy to negotiate with the special counsel through the media.
Trump asked White House chief of staff John Kelly to set up the meeting, which comes after Justice officials have for months been reluctant to hand over any information on the matter to Republican members. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday the meeting would be Thursday.
At the time Trump was "very unhappy" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not "going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her dossier", meaning the opposition research that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid former British spy Christopher Steele to produce.
USA officials have told CNN there was no such source planted inside Trump's campaign to provide information to investigators. White House officials also won't participate.
"Sadly they have allies in Congress who are all too happy to help in destroying these institutions", Schiff said.