Kelly and Flood sit in

The Times reports on Trump’s shockingly open obstruction of justice:

Top law enforcement and intelligence officials briefed congressional leaders from both parties on Thursday about the F.B.I.’s use of an informant in the Russia investigation, a highly unusual concession to Congress all but ordered by President Trump.

House Republicans close to the president, led by Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the Intelligence Committee chairman, had been pressing unsuccessfully for weeks for access to material related to the informant, issuing a subpoena and threatening to hold top Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn it over.

So that they could covertly hand it over to Trump and his lawyers so that they could improve their defense.

White House officials had at first arranged for only Mr. Nunes to be briefed. But Republican Senate leaders, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the Intelligence Committee chairman, pressed the White House to change the audience to the so-called Gang of Eight, the select bipartisan group with whom the government’s most sensitive intelligence is shared.

Mr. Nunes is the guy who has a track record of handing stuff over to Trump.

The senators, who have quietly objected to Mr. Nunes’s tactics in the past, were successful, at least in part. Administration officials held two separate briefings on Thursday: one for Mr. Nunes at the Justice Department, which has ended, and another on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon for the Gang of Eight.

The details continued to be fluid Thursday. At the last minute, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was also included in the first meeting. He was there in place of Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, who received a last-minute invitation.

All this is basically an attempted coup.

John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, whom Mr. Trump asked to help organize the meetings, was invited to attend both sessions. His presence was highly unusual in a sensitive congressional oversight briefing and it raised the specter that the top aide to the president could gain access to closely held information about an investigation of the president and his associates.

Emmet T. Flood, a lawyer representing Mr. Trump in the Russia investigation, was also briefly in the first meeting. Mr. Flood accompanied Mr. Kelly and left the room after initial remarks, according to two officials familiar with the meeting.

That is completely outrageous. Neither Kelly nor Flood should be allowed anywhere near those meetings.

It’s a c0up. It’s slow, and sometimes impeded by resistance, but it’s getting there.

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