House Democrats eye reported FBI probe of Trump




  • In US
  • 2019-01-13 02:50:53Z
  • By By David Morgan and Timothy Gardner

By David Morgan and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives committee will look into a newspaper report that the FBI investigated whether President Donald Trump has been working on behalf of Russia, against U.S. interests, the panel's Democratic chairman said on Saturday.

The New York Times reported that the probe began in the days after Trump fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May 2017 and said the agency's counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether Trump's actions constituted a possible threat to national security.

Trump rejected the Times piece in a late Saturday night interview on Fox News as "the most insulting article I've ever had written" and lashed out at Comey and the FBI in half a dozen tweets.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said his panel "will take steps to better understand both the president's actions and the FBI's response to that behavior" in coming weeks. He also said lawmakers would seek to protect investigators from the president's "increasingly unhinged attacks."

"There is no reason to doubt the seriousness or professionalism of the FBI, as the president did in reaction to this story," Nadler, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

"We have learned from this reporting that, even in the earliest days of the Trump administration, the president's behavior was so erratic and so concerning that the FBI felt compelled to do the unprecedented - open a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting president," Nadler said.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he could not comment on the specifics of the report, but said his committee would press ahead with its probe of Trump's contacts with Russia.

"Counterintelligence concerns about those associated with the Trump campaign, including the president himself, have been at the heart of our investigation since the beginning," said Schiff, a California Democrat.

Schiff said meetings, contacts and communications between Trump associates and Russians, as well as "the web of lies about those interactions, and the president's own statements and actions," have heightened the need to follow the evidence where it leads.

Trump took notes from his interpreter made during a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg and took other steps to conceal details of their conversations, a report in the Washington Post said on Saturday.

Trump denied on Fox News that he was keeping anything under wraps on his face-to-face meetings with Putin.

The New York Times said FBI officials became suspicious of Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, but held off on opening an investigation until Trump tied his dismissal of Comey to a probe into allegations of election meddling by Russia. The FBI also considered whether the Republican president's firing of Comey amounted to obstruction of justice.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over the investigation into Trump days after the FBI opened it, as he examined allegations of Russian election interference, the Times reported. Russia denies it sought to influence the election.

Trump lashed out at the Times and former FBI leaders, and criticized the agency's earlier probe of Democrat Hillary Clinton, his rival in the 2016 election.

"Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that 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!," Trump tweeted.

Comey took to Twitter later on Saturday, offering a quote he attributed to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made."

(Reporting by David Morgan and Timothy Gardner; editing by Jonathan Oatis and G Crosse)

COMMENTS

More Related News

After Mueller
After Mueller's Exoneration of Trump, Full Disclosure

The news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has closed his investigation without recommending criminal charges against President Trump is a relief. It is not a surprise.Nor is it a surprise that the news has Trump antagonists clamoring for full disclosure of the special counsel's final report. Mind you, when skeptics of the Trump-Russia investigation asked what the criminal predicate for it was, and on what basis the Obama administration had decided to monitor the opposition party's presidential campaign, we were admonished about the wages of disclosure -- the compromise of precious defense secrets, of deep-cover intelligence sources and methods. Why, to ask for such information was to...

Beyond Mueller report, Trump faces flurry of legal perils
Beyond Mueller report, Trump faces flurry of legal perils

NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump still has to contend with state and federal investigators in New York, even though special counsel Robert Mueller has wrapped up his investigation with no additional indictments.

Trump drops new N.Korea sanctions because he
Trump drops new N.Korea sanctions because he 'likes' Kim: W.House

President Donald Trump on Friday abruptly announced the cancellation of sanctions imposed by his own Treasury Department to tighten international pressure on North Korea. "It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. The Thursday sanctions were the first new sign of pressure since talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down in Hanoi less than a month ago.

Trump intensifies effort to discredit Mueller report
Trump intensifies effort to discredit Mueller report

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is intensifying his efforts to discredit a highly anticipated report on the special counsel's Russia investigation.

James Comey says he hopes Trump will not be impeached after Mueller report
James Comey says he hopes Trump will not be impeached after Mueller report

Ex-FBI director wrote in a New York Times op-ed he wants the president to suffer a 'resounding' loss in the 2020 electionFollow the latest US politics newsThe Guardian's independent journalism brings clarity at this critical moment in American history. Make a contribution 'f Mr Trump were removed from office by Congress, a significant portion of this country would see this as a coup,' James Comey wrote in the op-ed. Photograph: José Luis Magaña/AP James Comey has said he hopes Donald Trump will not be impeached following the completion of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Instead the former FBI director wants the president to suffer a...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.