The Times cited anonymous former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation Friday who said counterintelligence investigators looked into whether "Trump was knowingly working for Russian Federation or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence". "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", said former FBI general counsel James A. Baker, who testified before the House in October 2018.
It was a tense time.
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.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times' report "absurd" and said Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack". "James Comey was sacked because he's a disgraced partisan hack and his deputy Andrew McCabe who was in charge of the time is a known liar fired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
The officials told the newspaper that after Comey was sacked in May 2107, they become concerned when Trump tied the firing of Comey to the Russian Federation investigation.
In an interview with Reuters, Giuliani said Mueller raised the possibility of follow-up questions but that the president's outside legal team told the special counsel before Christmas that Trump would not respond.
Trump has disputed the allegations from the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
The Times reported that FBI investigators looked into whether Trump's actions could be considered a threat to national security.
It added the criminal portion related to Trump's firing of Comey.
It previously reported Mueller and the FBI are investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice over Comey's firing, but the counterintelligence investigation into Trump had not been disclosed until the Times scoop.
The newspaper said it's not clear whether Mueller is still looking into that matter. According to Politico, at least 33 people and three companies have been charged as a result of the Mueller investigation. It is unclear if the report will be made public.
The bill's Republican sponsors don't believe that Trump will try to fire the special counsel.