Donald Trump to demand Justice Department probe whether Federal Bureau of Investigation infiltrated presidential campaign

22 May, 2018, 15:27 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington

President Trump says that, on Monday, he will order an investigation into whether the FBI and the Department of Justice "infiltrated or surveilled" his campaign "for political purposes", potentially setting up a showdown between the president and his intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said the department had asked Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz to expand an ongoing investigation into FBI conduct ahead of the 2016 presidential election to determine whether there was impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its investigation. None consider that these agencies could have been attempting the hard task of investigating Russia's meddling in the campaign on Trump's behalf without improperly influencing the election by revealing the probe. Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with congressional Republicans, had already requested an investigation to review whether FBI and Justice Department officials had abused their surveillance powers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, leaving control to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.

This refers to the ongoing investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 United States election, whether there was any collusion between the Kremlin and Mr Trump's election campaign and whether the president tried unlawfully to obstruct the inquiry.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will take up President Donald Trump's demand that potential infiltration of his campaign by an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant be investigated, with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein calling in the inspector general to investigate. Such a move, Trump allies argue, would render the Mueller investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference illegitimate.

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It was possible that Rosenstein punted the matter to the inspector general to avoid a direct face-off between the White House and the Justice Department.

Trump's power play injected fresh intensity into his escalating political offensive against the Justice Department and renewed worries he is barging across long-held boundaries between the judicial system and the Oval Office. They potentially voided a constitutional crisis by politely, yet effectively, sidelined the President's attempt to interfere in an ongoing investigation.

Trump's tweet came towards the end of a weekend that was dominated with talk about confidential sources.

"With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI", Comey told the panel. The envoy offered to help the Trump presidential campaign, according to the Times ― similar to the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. two months earlier under the guise of providing what the Trump campaign believed was damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"It bothers me that they may be an informant in one of the campaigns unless there is a damn good reason", Graham said.

"We're not going to go to another meeting where we don't get documents, and then the meeting leaks out", the California Republican said during an interview on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

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