Thursday, 20 September, 2018

As Trump pressures DOJ, Giuliani says probe may end by Sept

US to examine Trump's allegation his campaign was under surveillance US justice department expands probe into origins of FBI's Russia investigation after public pressure from Donald Trump
Troy Mann | 22 May, 2018, 21:13

During a meeting with Trump, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray also reiterated an announcement late Sunday that the Justice Department's inspector general will expand an existing investigation into the Russian Federation probe by examining whether there was any improper politically motivated surveillance.

"If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action", Rosenstein said in a statement.

Trump remained focused on the issue over the weekend, and on Sunday, in an extraordinary tweet, pledged to "demand" a DOJ investigation into whether the Obama administration was behind this supposed politically-motivated spying.

In an analysis of Trump's Sunday tweets and Rosenstein's subsequent announcement at DOJ, CNN's Stephen Collinson on Monday morning argued that while the president's demand does not appear to be illegal in itself, "some critics believe that Trump's repeated pattern of leaning on the Justice Department and the FBI over the Russian Federation investigation could come close to showing intent that could amount to obstruction of justice". That followed a New York Times report on Wednesday that said at least one government informant reportedly met with then-campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and then-foreign policy adviser Carter Page. It's "a pretty safe bet that the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted an informant in the Trump campaign", Limbaugh said, in order to "catch and to discover and to witness Trump's collusion with the Russians".

The deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said action would be taken if any infiltration was found.

The department noted that a US attorney would be consulted if evidence of criminal conduct was found.

It's a good case study in how outlandish theories created to discredit the Mueller investigation and bolster Trump's position travel from the fringes to the White House.

The Justice Department tasked its internal watchdog with looking into the issues raised by Trump.

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Mueller has sought a sit-down with the president to conclude the portion of his investigation examining whether Trump or any officials sought to obstruct the probe.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the Justice Department on September 5, 2017. News, CNN, and the Washington Post have coverage.

Mueller is mandated to investigate the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, among other matters that may arise from the investigation.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders says while President Trump's meeting with Wray and Rosenstein will focus on congressional requests for documents and information, the meeting was scheduled last week - before the President's "demand" tweet Sunday.

Senator Mark Warner, who is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: "Publicly outing a source risks not only their life, but the lives of every American, because when sources are burned it makes it that much harder for every part of the intelligence community to gather intelligence on those who wish to do us harm".

According to the Washington Post, the informant has been aiding the Russian Federation investigation since before Mr Mueller's appointment a year ago.

"At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP!"

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