Pelosi Calls for Investigation Into Priebus for 'Trying to Pressure' FBI on Trump-Russia Stories

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi / AP
February 24, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Friday called for the Justice Department to investigate White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus following a report that he asked the FBI to publicly refute media stories about President Trump's associates communicating with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Pelosi's request came after CNN reported Friday that Priebus and other White House officials asked the FBI to dismiss allegations from press reports that Trump's campaign was in contact with Russian officials known to U.S. intelligence.

The FBI rejected the White House request, according to CNN.

Pelosi released a statement explaining her desire for a federal probe, calling Priebus' alleged actions a "grave abuse of power."

"White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has committed an outrageous breach of the FBI's independence," Pelosi said. "Priebus has not only damaged his reputation but tainted the impartiality of the FBI. The Department of Justice's Inspector General must open a new investigation into any and all conversations Priebus and other White House officials held with the FBI on ongoing investigations."

Pelosi also called for a "bipartisan commission" to be formed by Congress to investigate the matter.

"The American people deserve to know the truth," she added.

President Trump sent out two tweets Friday morning that appeared to be directly responding to the CNN report.

"The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time," Trump wrote. "They can't even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW [sic]."