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Capitol Ink | POTUS Patrol

Democrats Won’t Get Data on Trump Campaign Intel Source
WH spox: ‘Democrats have not requested that information’

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, will not be in the room when Justice Department officials reveal information about an intelligence source and the president’s 2016 campaign to GOP lawmakers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats will be shut out of a White House-brokered meeting during which Justice Department officials will tell two House GOP chairmen about an intelligence source who provided information about President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump asked White House chief of staff John Kelly to set up the meeting, which comes after Justice officials have for months been reluctant to hand over any information on the matter to Republican members. The order to broker the meeting, slated for Thursday, came after Trump met Monday with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a session the president on Tuesday described as “routine.”

Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe
Trump lawyer attacks Sessions, Comey and casts president as victim of ‘crimes’

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani prepares to speak at the Conference on Iran earlier this month shortly after being added to President Donald Trump’s legal team. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “proven liar” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “didn’t step up” to shut down an “unjustifiable investigation.” Those were just two of the claims made Friday by Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, as he continued an escalating effort to erode the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team continue their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, possible coordination with the Trump-Pence campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice, Giuliani — joined by Trump and others — are executing a strategy intended to raise doubts about the necessity of the investigation, whether Mueller and the FBI are out to get Trump, and the special counsel’s tactics.

Former NATO, DHS Officials Launch Election Interference Commission
Independent group aims to stop Russian and other meddlers in future elections

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff testifies during the Senate Judiciary hearing on immigration. Chertoff is co-chairing a commission to prevent election interference. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States, NATO and the European Union launched a commission to prevent election interference Friday.

Former NATO chief and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff announced the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity in Washington at a press conference.

Opinion: The Special Counsel Probe Is Tainted
Rod Rosenstein must act to restrict an investigation gone rogue

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should immediately restrict the actions of the special counsel to issues involving the 2016 election, as originally required, Smith writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s time for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to be restrained. The process is tainted, which should limit, if not end, the investigation.

There is a legal term called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” If the evidence, or tree, is tainted, then anything gained from the evidence — the fruit — is tainted as well.

Capitol Ink | Follow The Money

If Not Gina Haspel, Then Who?
Opposition to career officer comes with risk of less palatable alternative

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel has her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

If not Gina Haspel, then who would be behind door No. 2?

Senate Democrats have concerns about Haspel, the CIA director nominee, ahead of her Wednesday confirmation hearing before the Intelligence Committee, but they might want to consider the potential alternatives.

Capitol Ink | Walkover

Facebook Hires Ex-GOP Senator To Advise On Anti-Conservative Bias
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have quarreled over existence of such bias

Former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is partnering with Facebook to advise on issues over potential anti-conservative bias. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Facebook has brought in a high-profile Washington insider to advise the company on concerns over whether its employees and content-filtering algorithms have an anti-conservative tilt.

Former Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl — now with Capitol Hill lobbying stalwart Covington and Burling — is partnering with the tech giant as lawmakers hammer it for a lack of transparency, not doing enough to combat fake news ahead of the 2016 election, and — if you ask many Republicans — having a built-in bias in its codes and personnel that shuts out conservative voices.

Analysis: 3 Contradictions From Trump Team on Stormy Daniels Payment
What did the president know? When did he know it?

A sign at Little Darlings Las Vegas advertises an upcoming performance at the strip club by adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels on Jan. 25. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and one of his new attorneys admit he reimbursed his longtime fixer for a payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, a striking reversal from what the president said just a few weeks ago. But team Trump’s attempts to clear up the matter is full of contradictions.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now one of the lead attorneys on Trump’s personal legal team, told Fox News on Wednesday night the president repaid fixer and attorney Michael Cohen for $130,000 he transmitted to Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) in return for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter when Trump was a reality show star.