Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia

FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia

Trump's tweets came just hours after the New York Times published a report which revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an inquiry into whether Trump was working for the Kremlin following former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's firing in 2017.

"If the president had fired Comey to stop the Russian Federation investigation, the action would have been a national security issue because it naturally would have hurt the bureau's effort to learn how Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Americans were involved, according to James A. Baker, who served as FBI general counsel until late 2017", the report said.

The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security, and they also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.

The New York Times report said the FBI investigation was a joint counterintelligence and criminal probe.

FBI agents and senior officials began to suspect connections between Trump and Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign but pushed off an investigation partially because they were unsure how to execute such a massive and sensitive operation, sources told the Times.

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The Times says it is unclear whether Mr Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence angle.

"Funny thing about James Comey". The Times previously reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mr. Mueller rather than keeping the Russian Federation probe in-house, talked of wearing a wire when he met with the president.

Investigators have to consider if Trump's own actions constituted a possible threat to the national security, the paper reported on Friday.

Mueller, meanwhile, has issued dozens of indictments and steadily chalked up convictions of some of the president's close associates - including his former national security advisor, his former personal lawyer, and his ex-campaign chief.

A report from the New York Times cites unnamed former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

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Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed special counsel.

"He's [Strzok's] making an analogy here so my suggestion is, let's not, you know, throw the baby out with the bath water, let's sort of be a little bit more cautious with respect to our investigative steps because if he's not President, this plays a less of a threat to our national security".

While some Republicans applauded the decision, following Comey's dismissal there were also congressional members on both sides of the aisle who rebuked President Trump for his decision.

The Secretary of State said, "I'm not going to comment on New York Times stories, but I'll certainly say this".

"The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has always been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice".

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