Paul Ryan Brushes Back Trump ‘Spygate’ Assertion, Opposes Pardon

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Alex Wong Getty Images North America

Ryan told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate", and he has seen "no evidence to the contrary" of what Gowdy said.

Trump made the pardon assertion in a series of Twitter posts on Monday in which he criticized federal Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal probe of whether his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation to sway the election.

Still, Ryan said Wednesday that there is "more digging to do".

The Senate Intelligence Committee agreed to provide records in response to a request from the Justice Department, and the Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution allowing it to do so.

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During a press conference earlier in the day, Ryan told reporters that "no one is above the law" when asked if Trump has the ability to pardon himself. "We would just disagree with that", said Rooney, who is leaving Congress after this term. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., also said he has seen no evidence of that.

On May 24, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray led a team which disclosed documents and delivered a briefing concerning what has come to be known as "Spygate" to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

The briefings come as President Donald Trump has pushed the idea that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used a secret informant to spy on his 2016 presidential campaign.

The Justice Department official said the new briefing would happen Monday or Tuesday, depending on members' schedules, and that DOJ is prepared to "brief members on certain questions specifically raised by Ryan and other members".

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On the debate over whether the president can pardon himself, the speaker also echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's view that he was not sure of the legal answer but that "obviously, the answer is he shouldn't and no one is above the law".

In another tweet he called Mueller's appointment by the Department of Justice in 2017 "totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL".

He said the department had brought documents to the previous briefing, but "I didn't need to look at them because I knew what they were".

"Today for the first time I was hearing colleagues say, 'Well, Speaker Ryan won't stand with us in this fight over the essentials of our democracy, not weaponizing the intelligence community against the presidential campaign".

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If Trump does not consent to an interview, Mueller will have to decide whether to go forward with a historic grand jury subpoena. For example, if you didn't do your chores you might want to consider consulting legal scholars.

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