The Gang of 8 includes the top two congressional leaders in each chamber — Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — as well as the top Democrat and Republican in the House and Senate. committees.
A spokesman for the Senate Intelligence Committee declined to comment. A representative from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also declined to comment. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for an 8-member Gang indicated that a specific request had not been signed by all eight lawmakers, but acknowledged that there is congressional oversight. (The Gang of 8 and its associates routinely ask the intelligence community for specific information in ways that don’t always require the signature of all eight members.)
Privately, Capitol Hill officials have expressed frustration that Congress has learned little about the investigation into the former president, especially as it allegedly involves matters of national security. The executive branch has historically opposed congressional investigations of pending law enforcement actions, arguing that doing so could jeopardize the investigation.
The FBI’s search warrant, which was unsealed earlier this month, revealed that the Justice Department was investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act, the Presidential Records Act, and obstruction of justice related to Trump’s storage of White House materials at him at home.
At a hearing last week in South Florida, Jay Bratt, the Justice Department’s top counterintelligence officer, said the investigation is still in the “early stages.”
It is possible that the public will learn more about the probe in the coming days. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed the Mar-a-Lago search warrant, has instructed the Justice Department to review the FBI’s affidavit with probable cause, which could then be released publicly.
A group of media organizations filed a motion asking the judge to unlock the affidavit, citing significant public interest. Reinhart indicated at last week’s hearing that he was skeptical of the Justice Department’s efforts to keep the affidavit under seal. The document would reveal the government’s justification for seeking Reinhart’s approval of a search warrant. Earlier Monday, Reinhart wrote that the facts in the affidavit are “reliable”.
“Given the intense public and historic interest in an unprecedented search of a former president’s residence, the administration has not yet demonstrated that these administrative concerns are sufficient to warrant sealing,” Reinhart wrote.
Some lawmakers have also requested access to the affidavit, but that would likely require Reinhart to be signed.