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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:00 PM

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia
By Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos

Jan. 11, 2019

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/politics/fbi-trump-russia-inquiry.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, took over the inquiry into Mr. Trump when he was appointed, days after F.B.I. officials opened it. That inquiry is part of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russian operatives interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired with them. It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter, and some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it.

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.

If the president had fired Mr. Comey to stop the Russia investigation, the action would have been a national security issue because it naturally would have hurt the bureau’s effort to learn how Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Americans were involved, according to James A. Baker, who served as F.B.I. general counsel until late 2017. He privately testified in October before House investigators who were examining the

“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,” Mr. Baker said in his testimony, portions of which were read to The New York Times. Mr. Baker did not explicitly acknowledge the existence of the investigation of Mr. Trump to congressional investigators.




The cloud of the Russia investigation has hung over Mr. Trump since even before he took office, though he has long vigorously denied any illicit connection to Moscow. The obstruction inquiry, revealed by The Washington Post a few weeks after Mr. Mueller was appointed, represented a direct threat that he was unable to simply brush off as an overzealous examination of a handful of advisers. But few details have been made public about the counterintelligence aspect of the investigation.





Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:07 PM

1. NYT. Lol.

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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:10 PM

2. If that story has any merit

Then we have folks in the FBI who are overdue for a trip to the gallows.
But honestly..That story reads like it was written by A Russian.

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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:15 PM

3. The lede is buried in paragraph 9 which you declined to post.

“No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.”

If we want to open investigations into all aspects of the 2020 candidates lives...Gee this is going to be fun.



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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:37 PM

4. So this allegation has been thoroughly investigated by a team of ...

some of the best people in law enforcement for two years.

If Trump was actually secretly working for Russia surely some evidence would have been discovered by now.

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Response to batcat (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:43 PM

5. The investigation was handed off to Meuller's team a short time after it started. Nt

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Response to Fiendish Thingy-BC (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:51 PM

7. And Mueller had a highly qualified team in which most members disliked Trump and some ...

hated him. Surely if Trump was a Russian agent they would have found plenty of evidence by now.

We are not talking about the Keystone Kops here.


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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:47 PM

6. proving once again, there's no limit to the amount of bullshit lefty can make up in order to

"investigate"

I wonder how lefty is going to react when payback day comes?

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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 12:24 AM

8. Lol, where have I seen this play before. Oh, yeah:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/magazine/what-an-uncensored-letter-to-mlk-reveals.html

I guess the NYT has changed. I mean, they even admit it, with a special guest appearance by James Comey lmao.

"Luckily, in 1964 the media were far more cautious. One oddity of Hoover’s campaign against King is that it mostly flopped, and the F.B.I. never succeeded in seriously damaging King’s public image. Half a century later, we look upon King as a model of moral courage and human dignity. Hoover, by contrast, has become almost universally reviled. In this context, perhaps the most surprising aspect of their story is not what the F.B.I. attempted, but what it failed to do.

The current F.B.I. director, James Comey, keeps a copy of the King wiretap request on his desk as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong."

Good thing James, the FBI, and the NYT learned their lesson so well.

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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 12:30 AM

9. A Friday evening drop means they are trying to doll up bad news.

If this was a true Trump hit piece they wouldn’t be doing it like this.

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Response to bobsal (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 01:29 AM

10. It was an Obama era deep state ruse so that they could spy on his campaign.

It says a lot more about how unethical The FBI is than anything having to do with Trump.

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