By Mark Hosenball and Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two senior law enforcement officials met with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday to discuss demands by supporters of President Donald Trump in Congress that the Justice Department released files relevant to investigations of possible Trump 2016 campaign ties to Russia, a source familiar with the meeting said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with Ryan, said AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman who declined to comment on the meeting’s topic.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment.
Reuters reported in September that the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee had issued subpoenas to Wray and Rosenstein demanding that they turn over their agency files on former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, their “dossier” on alleged US intelligence contacts. Trump team with Russia and the investigations being conducted by the FBI and the Justice Department into the contents of the file.
Officials said at the time that agencies were reluctant to comply with the subpoenas, backed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump supporter, because the FBI was conducting its own investigation. That investigation is overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller on US allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election campaign to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.
Moscow has denied any effort to influence the election and Trump denies any campaign collusion. Trump supporters have said that the “dossier” and other allegations of Trump’s involvement with Russia are slander fabricated by Trump’s political enemies.
The media reported in December that Nunes would ask his committee to vote to hold the Justice Department and the FBI in contempt of Congress if they did not turn over the material requested by the committee.
Nunes said in a statement that he spoke with Rosenstein Wednesday night and now believes his committee has reached an agreement with the Justice Department that will give the committee access to all the documents and witnesses it requested.
“The committee expects to receive access to the documents in the next few days,” he said.
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