Trump Sets Up Showdown With DOJ Over Claims Of Campaign Surveillance

Trump Sets Up Showdown With DOJ Over Claims Of Campaign Surveillance

Trump Sets Up Showdown With DOJ Over Claims Of Campaign Surveillance

The inspector general is being asked to determine "whether there was any impropriety or political motivation" on the part of United States agents who conducted counter-intelligence operations of "persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election".

The Justice Department agreed to turn over to Nunes many of its files on the genesis of the investigation into the Trump campaign, but that has hardly mollified the president.

Trump had demanded that the Justice Department look into possible infiltration or surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the DOJ itself of his 2016 campaign, stressing that it was essential to probe if someone from his predecessor Barack Obama's administration had ordered such a request.

The request was preceded by a tweet from President Donald Trump.

Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who is directly overseeing the Russian Federation probe, said in a separate statement: "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action".

Her statement also said that "the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct", and it said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement saying, "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action".

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.

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According to Giuliani, the president has been so consumed with Iran and North Korea that his new lawyers were barely able to get any time last with him last week to discuss the negotiation with the special counsel or to engage in any preparation.

The probe comes amid an ongoing investigation, headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into alleged collusion between the Russian government and Trump's 2016 election campaign.

"That's little more than a transparent effort to undermine an ongoing investigation".

Giuliani's apparent attempt to publicly pressure Mueller amid interview negotiations came just hours after Trump's demand for a new inquiry, which moved beyond his usual blustery accusations of institutional wrongdoing and into the realm of applying presidential pressure on the Justice Department, a move few of his predecessors have made. "It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a "hot" Fake News story", Trump had tweeted, adding: "If true - all time biggest political scandal!".

California Democratic Representative Ted Lieu said that Trump's demand could amount to obstruction of justice.

The Times reported Friday that the informant talked to Page and Papadopoulos because they had suspicious contacts linked to Russian Federation. However, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said neither he nor the president knows for sure if it really happened.

"So if the President really gives Rod Rosenstein or Chris Wray an order (as opposed to Twitter bluster) demanding a particular investigation not properly predicated under FBI/DOJ guidelines for this overtly political objective, I believe both men will resign rather than comply", Wittes wrote. Comey later testified to Congress that internal reviews found no information to support the president's tweets.

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