The White House-brokered meeting during which senior lawmakers will for the first time get to review classified documents from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election won’t include Democrats.
“My understanding is they haven’t been the ones requesting this information,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday. She didn’t understand why Democrats would “consider themselves randomly invited to see something they never asked to.”
Senior GOP lawmakers brokered a deal Monday with top intelligence officials, paving the way for a review of the classified materials, specifically those pertaining to whether President Barack Obama’s administration planted an FBI informant to spy on the Trump campaign.
The meeting will include House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), plus FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O’Callaghan.
Top Democrats spoke out about not being included in the meeting.
“The only thing more outrageous than this meeting occurring at all is the fact that it’s now partisan,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
House Intelligence ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) made his hopes for a separate briefing for Democrats known on Tuesday, and condemned the meeting on Twitter.
Republican lawmakers, led by Nunes, have been asking the Justice Department for access to documents for months, to no avail. It wasn’t immediately clear why some of that access was granted.