Donald Trump 'investigated by FBI' as possible RUSSIAN AGENT after James Comey's firing
The FBI looked into whether Trump was either consciously or unwittingly promoting Russian interests according to the New York Times. During the Presidential election campaign, the bureau held off opening an investigation. Trump dismissed Mr Comey as FBI Director on May 9 2017 claiming he was “not able to effectively lead the Bureau”.
However, top FBI officials ae thought to have become concerned when Trump twice made comments which appeared to link Mr Comey’s firing to the Russian investigation.
Trump wanted to send a letter to Mr Comey explicitly linking his firing to the Russia investigation, but a more restrained version was sent after deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein disregarded the President’s instruction.
Separately, during an interview with NBC News two days after Mr Comey’s firing Trump appeared to link his decision to the Russian inquiry.
The President commented: “I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it.
“In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”
Taken together, the two incidents moved FBI figures towards launching the inquiry, which began shortly afterwards.
FBI officials moved quickly as they feared Trump would appoint a new Bureau chief who would disrupt or end the investigation.
The FBI investigation has been combined into a larger inquiry into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia being led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller.
It is unclear whether Mr Mueller has continued pursuing the specific allegations.
If Trump had fired Mr Comey to sabotage investigations into his alleged links to Russia it would have been a national security issue according to James A. Baker, former FBI general council.
He told a Congressional inquiry in October: “Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security”.
No evidence has been publicly released suggesting Trump took direction from Russian government officials.
The importance of the investigation was downplayed by Rudolph Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump.
Yesterday he told the New York Times: “The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing.”
Two types of inquiry are conducted by the FBI, focused on crime and counterintelligence respectively.
The latter, such as the inquiry into Trump, are generally fact-finding exercises and often don’t result in arrests or prosecutions.
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