Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russian Federation

12 January, 2019, 09:09 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump dance at the Freedom Ball in Washington DC

The newspaper, citing unnamed former law enforcement officials and others, reported January 11 that the counterintelligence investigation was initially separate from an ongoing criminal investigation. Lines of inquiry pursued by investigators included whether Mr Trump was knowingly colluding with Russian Federation or unwittingly falling under the influence of the Kremlin.

According to the Times, FBI officials also opened a counterintelligence investigation around the time of Comey's firing, after officials were alarmed by comments Trump made suggesting Comey's firing was due to the original Russian Federation investigation. Investigators also had to ascertain whether the president was knowingly, or possibly unwittingly, under Russian influence. The story says it is unclear whether Mueller is pursuing the counterintelligence case.

In an interview with The Hill published Friday, Giuliani expressed his disdain with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his worry that the report might reflect badly on his client, President Donald Trump.

They were also motivated by his reported statements during a May White House meeting with visiting Russian officials that he had fired Comey because "he was insane, a real nut job".

As CNN first reported, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened the Trump probe, in the hectic days after the President fired Comey, after considering various options for dealing with the firing.

"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", president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times for its report.

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In addition to determining whether or not the President was working for Russian Federation, the FBI also opened a criminal investigation to determine if the President's firing of Comey was obstruction of justice.

President Trump has denied any collusion with Moscow and has called the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt". "Campaigns leak polling data all the time", Giuliani said, before decrying the focus on the investigation as a "joke" and "total mockery" that "only happens because 75 percent of the press hates Trump".

Mr. Trump submitted his written answers to Mr. Mueller in November after months of negotiation between his legal team and the special counsel team.

For one, also this week, the USA attorney for the Southern District here in NY indicted Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner in Trump Tower in June 2016 to discuss acquiring dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Trump is facing criminal investigations in Washington and NY.

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