Paul Ryan Siding with the 'Deep State,' GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz Says

Schaff for The New York Times

Schaff for The New York Times

On Wednesday, as Ryan discredited Trump's spy claims, he nonetheless stressed that lawmakers expected other document requests to be fulfilled, noting, "We have some more digging to do".

Asked whether Trump can legally pardon himself, Ryan told reporters at the U.S. Capitol: "I don't know the technical answer to that question but obviously he shouldn't. This is about Russian Federation and what they did and making sure they don't do it again", Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters, in comments excoriating federal law enforcement agencies for not being more forthcoming with documents that lawmakers had requested until Ryan personally intervened.

Trump has charged the Federal Bureau of Investigation and he predecessor, Barack Obama, with embedding a "spy" into his campaign in order to illegal surveil his operation.

"It would have been helpful if we got this information earlier", he added.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday that he agreed with House Oversight and Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., that there is no evidence of a planted spy. "I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made". We still have some unanswered questions ...

Ryan also said that even if Trump has the legal authority to pardon himself, that's not something he should do because "no one is above the law".

Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), a top member of the House Intelligence Committee, has come out strongly against President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated "Spygate" claims. "But instead of our speaker standing with us and putting the focus on the FBI's refusal to turn over documents so that we can perform our oversight duties, instead, he was defending the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that is deeply frustrating to me, and we need the speaker to be an institutionalist for the Congress, not to be a defender of the deep state". "We need the speaker to be an institutionalist for the Congress, not to be a defender of the deep state", he said, using a term, popular in far-right circles, that refers to a conspiratorial cabal of longtime government officials and financial titans who seek to influence policy and politics at agencies such as the State and Justice departments.

"What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?"

"Today for the first time I was hearing colleagues say, 'Well, Speaker Ryan won't stand with us in this fight over the essentials of our democracy, not weaponizing the intelligence community against the presidential campaign".

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