Ryan family members and others who have been briefed on the arrest of the former speaker of the House of Representatives are expressing shock, disbelief and frustration.
The Ryans have not been interviewed by the FBI in connection with the matter, a senior White House official said on Wednesday, declining to provide details on the situation.
But the former Speaker’s son, Joe, has spoken to a member of the FBI about the arrest and has been briefed by agents, the official said.
Joe Ryan told CNN that the former GOP speaker was not cooperating with the investigation.
He said Ryan’s wife, Jackie, had been cooperating with agents and that he was confident that they would get him the information they needed.
But Ryan has not spoken to the public, Ryans spokesman Sean Spicer said.
Ryans wife, Cindy, has been with him since leaving office in 2017 and had been assisting him in recent months, Spicer said, adding that he has “no idea” what happened.
He has also not been in touch with his lawyers, he added.
Ryan’s son was with him during the time he was in contact with agents, he said.
He added that the family did not know why Ryan had been taken into custody, but had “not been in contact” with him, Spicer added.
Joe and Cindy Ryan, along with other family members, had also been briefed, Spicer told CNN.
He did not offer any further details.
Joe said he was not aware that the charges against Ryan were pending.
Cindy Ryan has also been in constant contact with the FBI and the Department of Justice, Spicer noted.
Cindy Ryan has been “very supportive of the family, and has supported the investigation into the actions of Paul Ryan and the speaker of House of Commons,” Spicer said in a statement.
“Cindie has been a steadfast advocate for the Ryan family.”
The former speaker has been under investigation for months after a bombshell report by the Washington Post revealed that he had a relationship with an intern who had worked as his deputy chief of staff, an allegation he denies.
The Washington Post story prompted the resignation of Ryan’s deputy chief, Michael Steel, who was accused of sexual harassment by a former House staffer.
The Post story also detailed an alleged sexual encounter between Ryan and another aide, Ryan’s former chief of policy and strategy, Rebekah Mercer.
Mercer had previously accused Ryan of sexual misconduct in a book, The Art of the Deal.