DOJ Says Watchdog Will Look Into Trump Campaign Surveillance

Aaron Brown
May 23, 2018

President Donald Trump says he will order an investigation Monday into claims an FBI informant infiltrated his 2016 election campaign - setting up a potential showdown with the Justice Department. "And there's a legitimate reason here for us to be concerned", Turley said. He said he would direct the Department of Justice to investigate whether the F.B.I. improperly spied on his campaign. There's no evidence that the investigation or use of the informant was ordered by President Obama.

What does the new expanded probe involve?

DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a separate statement that "the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct".

On Sunday afternoon senior Department of Justice officials called on DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to officially investigate whether spying on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign was politically motivated.

In May, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose job has been hanging in the balance for months, publicly said that the Department of Justice would not be "extorted" in the face of presidential and congressional threats to undermine its independence.

How has the White House responded?

Experts expect Rosenstein or FBI Director Christopher Wray to resist pressure from Trump, even if that requires their resignations.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates was also present. On Saturday, he again tweeted about the possibility of the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation "infiltrating" his campaign, saying that only the release of classified documents from congressional investigators would "give the conclusive answers".

Nunes said he and Gowdy canceled the meeting after they were informed that DoJ had decided not to provide the documents.

The expanded probe, she said, will "include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election". Comey later testified to Congress that internal reviews found no information to support the president's tweets.

Trump did not elaborate on the promised "demand", which he included in one of a series of tweets he sent throughout the day Sunday.

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That particular bomb appears to have been defused - at least for now. This time may be no different.

Trump has repeatedly trampled on this tradition - a tradition that's vital to a well-functioning democracy.

"It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a "hot" Fake News story", Mr Trump tweeted, adding: "If true - all time biggest political scandal!". The article cites work by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, an ardent Trump supporter and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has demanded information on an FBI source in the Russian Federation investigation.

The informant - an American academic working in the United Kingdom - had made contact with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, the report said.

The Washington Post reported a similar account.

They have argued that doing so would put the alleged informant's life - or that of his contacts - in danger.

Some Democrats are deeply unhappy.

In recent weeks, Nunes subpoenaed the Justice Department for documents concerning an American who was a confidential intelligence source for Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

What is the informant's connection to Mueller?

So far, the Mueller team has indicted a total of 22 people and companies.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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