Speaker Ryan agrees FBI’s use of informant in Trump campaign was justified, urges Trump not to pardon self
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — After receiving a classified briefing late last month at the Department of Justice, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he agrees with Rep. Trey Gowdy’s assessment that it was fully proper for the FBI to deploy an informant in the Trump campaign – though Ryan cautioned he wants to ensure every lead is investigated.
“Normally I don’t like to comment on classified briefings. Let me say it this way. I think Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate,” Ryan said. “But we have some more digging to do. We’re waiting for some more document requests, we have some more documents to review. We still have someone to answer questions.”
House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, said last month’s briefing convinced him the FBI’s actions were appropriate.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” he said in an interview on Fox News. He added that the information also suggested that the effort had “nothing to do with Donald Trump.”
While Trump has continued to claim the FBI planted “spies” into his campaign, Ryan said it “would have been helpful” if he had been briefed by the Department of Justice on the situation earlier, which he believes would allow lawmakers to conclude their investigation faster.
“But I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made,” Ryan underscored. “But I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”
Ryan also warned President Trump not to pardon himself, as a debate rages on over the president’s constitutional powers.
Asked whether Ryan believes the president has the power to pardon himself, Ryan conceded he didn’t “know the technical answer to that question.”
Nevertheless, Ryan made clear that he doesn’t believe Trump should pardon himself.
“Obviously the answer is he shouldn’t [pardon himself] and no one is above the law,” Ryan cautioned.
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