Speaker Ryan Dismisses Trump’s Charges of a Spy in his Campaign

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After receiving a classified briefing late last month at the Department of Justice, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he agrees with his fellow Republican, Rep. Trey Gowdy, in his assessment that it was fully proper for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to deploy an informant to communicate with Trump campaign advisors - although Ryan cautioned he wants to ensure every lead is investigated.

The Department of Justice held the two briefings late last month amid reports that a longtime USA government informant approached members of Trump's campaign to gather intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

"It is Congress's job to conduct oversight over the executive branch, over every department in the executive branch.but especially departments like the Department of Justice that affect our civil liberties", Ryan said.

The Justice Department said late Wednesday it would extend an offer to top congressional lawmakers to brief them further and to provide another opportunity for the lawmakers to review "certain supporting documents" made available during the May 24 briefing.

Democrats have voiced concerns that such briefings could allow the president's legal team to get access to sensitive details of the investigation.

Democrats argue that the Republicans weren't trying to find collusion, charging that they ignored numerous leads and failed to subpoena documents and witnesses key to getting to the bottom of the Russian Federation investigation.

The FBI was investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible connections to the Trump campaign. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the briefing that he learned "nothing particularly surprising".

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In another tweet he called Mueller's appointment by the Department of Justice in 2017 "totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL". "Let me say it this way: I think Chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate".

Ryan said earlier that he agreed with GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy's assessment that there was no evidence to support the commander-in-chief's "SPYGATE" claims. I think - but we have some more digging to do. Trump said he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself if it were necessary - which Trump says it won't be, because "I have done nothing wrong".

Officials are expected to meet early next week with the leaders of the full House and Senate and the chambers' intelligence committees - the "Gang of Eight" - a senior Justice Department official said.

On Sunday, Giuliani said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that it would be "unthinkable" for Trump to pardon himself - but that it was something the president could "probably" do - because it would nearly certainly lead to impeachment proceedings in Congress.

Burr, however, appeared ready to move on, saying the briefing he attended "sufficiently covered everything to do with this right now".

"I have never to this point heard a single person talk about removing Speaker Ryan from the speakership", Gaetz said on Fox Business's "Lou Dobbs Tonight".