FBI’s investigation of Trump included a counterintelligence inquiry


The Washington Post · Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima

WASHINGTON – The FBI investigation into President Donald Trump that was opened almost immediately after he fired then-director James Comey also included a counterintelligence component to determine if the president was seeking to help Russia and if so, why, according to people familiar with the matter.

The decision by then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to open an investigation of a sitting president was a momentous step, but it came after Trump had cited the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in his decision to fire Comey, these people said.

The counterintelligence component of the Trump investigation was first reported by The New York Times.

Trump responded Saturday morning on Twitter, blasting former FBI leaders, criticizing their handling of an earlier investigation into Hillary Clinton and ripping the ongoing Russia probe. Trump has repeatedly denounced the FBI and Justice Department in such harsh terms, underscoring the gulf between the White House and the nation’s top law enforcement agencies in his administration.

“The corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!” the president tweeted. “My firing of James B. Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop.”

Counterintelligence investigations are different than criminal probes, in that their chief purpose is to understand what a foreign adversary like Russia is trying to do to influence American society or counteract U.S. policies, and if any Americans are assisting in those efforts, either knowingly or unwittingly.

In the case of the investigation into Trump, the FBI’s decision to open a file on the president so quickly after Comey’s firing in May 2017 was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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