Congress presses Trump administration for Mueller's counterintelligence files

By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers are pressuring the Justice Department for access to counterintelligence reports generated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of President Donald Trump and his associates, two congressional sources said on Tuesday. Mueller's team produced counterintelligence reports and passed the information along to the FBI and the Justice Department based on witness interviews and other evidence about Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S

Reuters May 22, 2019 05:09:42 IST
Congress presses Trump administration for Mueller's counterintelligence files

Congress presses Trump administration for Muellers counterintelligence files

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers are pressuring the Justice Department for access to counterintelligence reports generated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation of President Donald Trump and his associates, two congressional sources said on Tuesday.

Mueller's team produced counterintelligence reports and passed the information along to the FBI and the Justice Department based on witness interviews and other evidence about Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Intelligence committees in both the Democrat-led House of Representatives and the Republican-led Senate want detailed information about those reports and leads, the congressional sources said.

In a footnote to one section of his report about a Russian operation that trolled American internet users during the 2016 campaign, Mueller said his team was "aware of reports that other Russian entities engaged in similar active measures operations targeting the United States."

U.S. and European law enforcement and intelligence officials have said European spy agencies began collecting information about Russian government hackers' efforts to target U.S. government and political networks as early as 2015.

FBI investigators also started probing hacking of the Democratic Party in late 2015, sources familiar with the investigations said.

Last week, in a letter to Attorney General William Barr, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said the Justice Department failed to comply with a subpoena his committee issued for documents and materials related to Mueller's investigation.

Schiff said that failure to comply "places the Department at risk of unlawfully withholding foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information from the committee."

He also said the committee could consider enforcement action against the department at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday if the requested materials are not produced.

Last month, according to a congressional source, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote the FBI requesting a briefing on counterintelligence information developed by Mueller's team. The source said that briefing had not yet occurred.

The Justice Department has offered to let the House committee's members see most of the redacted parts of Mueller's report on Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as well as foreign and counterintelligence documentation related to Mueller's inquiry.

In a letter sent to Schiff on Tuesday, Justice Department official Stephen Boyd said he was surprised that Schiff's committee had found that proposal "unacceptable".

Boyd also said the department was willing to discuss a possible plan for giving Intelligence Committee members and staff closed-doors access to some additional material they are seeking if Schiff does not move forward with his threats to hold the department in contempt.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.