FBI opened probe into whether Trump working for Russians

12 January, 2019, 09:07 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP NJ- NOVEMBER 20 President-elect Donald Trump greets Rudy Giuliani at the clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster Township N.J. on Sunday Nov. 20 2016

One aspect of that investigation - whether Trump's firing of Comey represented obstruction of justice - has been previously reported.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation and whether the president obstructed the investigation.

The paper said the...

However, things got quite serious in 2017 when law enforcement officials reportedly became so suspicious of the president's behaviour that they launched an investigation to determine if Trump was, in fact, a Russian agent.

'I was going to fire Comey - there was no good time to do it, ' Trump said.

It said officials considered both the possibility that the president was knowingly assisting Moscow and that he had unknowingly come under its influence.

According to a report from the New York Times, in May 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began to investigate if Trump was working - actively, or unknowingly - on behalf of the Kremlin while in office.


There is a debate over whether there would be interference into the inquiry, especially as the president's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, has criticized "overzealous prosecutors" conducting the investigation.

Agents and senior FBI officials had grown suspicious of Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.

CNN reported that counterintelligence agents were investigating why Trump was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russian Federation.

Such hints were made on two instances - one, in the early draft of Comey's firing letter in which Trump thanked Comey for saying that he was not a target of the Russian Federation probe and another when Trump told NBC that Comey was sacked due to the Russian Federation investigation.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times' report "absurd" and said Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack".

"Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia", Sanders said.

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Trump had ousted the head of the FBI to impede or even end the Russian Federation investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern.

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