FBI director, deputy attorney general meet with Speaker Ryan about Trump-Russia dossier requests

PHOTO: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R) leaves the U.S. Capitol after a meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Capitol Hill, Jan. 3, 2018.PlayAlex Wong/Getty Images
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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray came to Capitol Hill Wednesday evening for a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the Department of Justice's handling of the controversial dossier alleging links between President Donald Trump and Russia.

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A source familiar with the meeting confirmed that Wray and Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel's Russia probe, were scheduled to meet with Ryan to discuss House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ recent requests for additional Justice Department documents regarding handling of the so-called Steele dossier.

On Dec. 28, Nunes sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting interviews with officials and documents regarding the handling of the dossier alleging collusion between Trump and Russia, among other concerns. Nunes had previously subpoenaed the Justice Department for the documents and interviews.

"Unfortunately, DOJ/FBI's intransigence with respect to the August 24 subpoenas is part of a broader pattern of behavior that can no longer be tolerated," Nunes wrote in the letter, which asked for the documents and potential dates for interviews with DOJ officials by Jan. 3.

Late Wednesday, Nunes released a statement saying, “After speaking to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein this evening, I believe the House Intelligence Committee has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice that will provide the committee with access to all the documents and witnesses we have requested. The committee looks forward to receiving access to the documents over the coming days.”

Some Republicans allege the dossier -- prepared for research firm Fusion GPS by former British spy Christopher Steele -- was part of a plot to undermine Trump, and remain concerned that the Justice Department used some of the unverified information in the dossier as they began their Russia investigation. Trump has said the claims and alleged links in the dossier are false.

Founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS started investigating Trump at the request of the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website. The effort expanded in March 2016 with funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

As he left Ryan's office Rosenstein did not answer repeated shouted questions from reporters about the meeting.

Wray also attended the meeting with Ryan, a Ryan aide confirmed.

In addition to investigating how the Justice Department handled the dossier, congressional Republicans on the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees have launched investigations into allegations of political bias at the FBI and Justice Department in the Clinton and Trump investigations.

The Justice Department inspector general is investigating the agency's handling of the Clinton email probe.