In a rare move last Wednesday, Donald Trump sided with his Department of Justice—headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions—against Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), an ardent supporter of the president who’s made every effort to cast doubt on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
As the Washington Post reports, senior FBI and national intelligence officials managed to convince the president and White House associated to withhold information requested by Nunes they feared would jeopardize a top-secret intelligence source.
Top White House officials “were persuaded that turning over Justice Department documents could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI,” the Post reports.
It is unclear whether Trump was aware that the source has provided information to the Mueller investigation.
Nunes last week threatened to hold Sessions in contempt of Congress over the Justice Department’s refusal of his request, which the Post reports “threatened to cross a red line of compromising sources and methods of U.S. intelligence-gathering.”
At a meeting last week, officials told Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, that divulging the information to Nunes “could contradict years of policy about protecting intelligence sources.”