Tags: republican | lawmakers | justice department | fbi | contacts | reporters

Republicans Looking at Justice Department Officials' Contacts With Reporters

Republicans Looking at Justice Department Officials' Contacts With Reporters
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 08:04 AM

Republican lawmakers are looking into contacts between Justice Department officials and reporters assigned to cover the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, Politico is reporting.

FBI leaders and top Justice Department officials have been publicly and privately quizzed by GOP congressional investigators about their interactions with journalists, who cover the probe, according to the website.

"There are a number of other inappropriate communications that have transpired between the FBI/DOJ and media outlets that have not been disclosed," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

And The Hill reported the House Intelligence Committee said it has information that special counsel Robert Mueller's deputy of the Russia probe, Andrew Weissman, had been in touch with the news media last April – before Mueller was appointed.

The FBI said it will provide details on Weissman's contacts later this week, The Hill said.

Other Republicans claim that Christopher Steele, author of the disputed Donald Trump-Russia dossier, served as a source for the FBI's probe and had inappropriate contacts with reporters during the election.

"I don't think an informant for the FBI should be taking the product and shopping it around to journalists throughout the world," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said  on NBC's "Meet the Press."

But the scrutiny over contacts with reporters has brought criticism, Politico noted.

"Republicans don't seem to want to conduct a fair investigation," said Matt Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman in the Obama administration. "Looking at officials you want to target and trying to find out whether they've had any contact with media is a backwards way to conduct an investigation."

Still Republicans insist they do not intend to demand details from reporters about their sources.

"I don't want to get into a position where we're chilling free speech," said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a House Judiciary Committee member. "I think before you bring in the reporter, you've got to bring in the official who you suspect."

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Republican lawmakers are looking into contacts between Justice Department officials and reporters assigned to cover the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, Politico is reporting.
republican, lawmakers, justice department, fbi, contacts, reporters
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2018-04-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 08:04 AM
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