Trump to demand probe into FBI's use of informant

Stefan Halper – Latest character in Russiagate drama spied for the CIA in the 80s

Trump to demand probe into FBI's use of informant

The Department of Justice said Sunday its inspector general will investigate whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation engaged in politically motivated surveillance of President Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 following a public demand by Trump to do so, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday.

An FBI informant was in touch with some members of Trump's campaign ahead of the 2016 election about their contacts with Russians as part of an operation that has since grown into an investigation of alleged Russian meddling in polls being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said if anyone did infiltrate the Trump campaign, the DOJ would need to know about it and then take action.

In March 2017, the president tweeted that in October 2016, Obama had conducted surveillance at Trump Tower in NY, which had served as headquarters to his campaign and also his place of residence.

There is already an investigation into all aspects relating to Trump's campaign for the 2016 election and whether Russian Federation tried to influence the outcome.

The New York Times, citing individuals familiar with the matter, reported Friday that the confidential source interacted with Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

The Washington Post called him "a longtime U.S. intelligence source" and said he met with a third campaign adviser - am Clovis - as well as Page and Papadopoulos.

Even the fact that Rosenstein asked the inspector general - the internal Justice Department watchdog - to get involved, puzzled some analysts.

But it paired that inquiry with an existing "review" of the application process for FISA national security warrants, which Republicans allege was abused in connection with the surveillance of Page. She said the officials will "review highly classified and other information they have requested", but did not provide additional detail.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump's claim of an embedded spy was "nonsense".

The special counsel's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump has grown frustrated with the Justice Department for refusing to turn over to congressional Republicans documents related to the informant.

But former Trump adviser Steve Cortes told CNN that Papadopoulos was a "deeply irrelevant figure" in the campaign. They potentially voided a constitutional crisis by politely, yet effectively, sidelined the President's attempt to interfere in an ongoing investigation.

"As the president's lawyer, I can't be concerned on what effect it may have", he said.

Benjamin Wittes, whom former FBI Director James Comey showed memos of his meetings with Trump, wrote in a series of tweets that the president's push to investigate the FBI is "nakedly corrupt". Trump allies from Kellyanne Conway to Rudy Giuliani were soon sharing grave concerns about the presence of a spy in the campaign's midst.

"There is nothing illegal about that".

It said Mr Mueller's investigators had questioned witnesses in Washington, New York, Atlanta, Tel Aviv and elsewhere regarding possible foreign help to the campaign.

Yet such is Trump's fury over the whole affair, it's also conceivable that his volcanic temperament and belief that he is being unfairly targeted is causing him to act in a way that raises suspicions.

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