News & Politics

Trump Allies Don't Want Democrats at Their Shady Meeting with the DOJ—Here's Why That's So Suspicious

Reps. Gowdy and Nunes apparently want information about the Russia investigation that they don't want others to hear.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump's congressional allies are planning to meet with Justice Department officials Thursday after requesting documents relating to the beginnings of the Russia Investigation. Breaking with protocol, Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will meet first with DOJ officials on their own, without any Democratic lawmakers present — making many observers suspicious of the meeting's true purpose.

Such briefings from the intelligence community are typically bipartisan because national security issues are not supposed to be politicized. After facing blowback, DOJ announced that there would be a second meeting held for the "Gang of Eight," a bipartisan group of high-ranking lawmakers that specialize in intelligence issues.

But the existence of the second meeting only raised questions about the need for the first meeting — an arrangement that is particularly suspicious given Nunes' close ties to Trump, who is a subject of the Russia investigation.

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"I've never seen anything like this," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday night on CNN. "This is highly unusual that you would have such a briefing in the middle of an investigation."

The White House initially said that no Democrats were invited to the meeting because they weren't interested. While Democrats did argue that the meeting shouldn't take place out of respect for the ongoing investigation, they also made it clear that if it did happen, it should be bipartisan. 

Vox reporter Matt Yglesias posed an obvious question on Twitter: "What do Nunes & Gowdy want to do that they don’t want to let Democrats (or even GOP Senators) see them doing and why should DOJ let them do it?"

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.