Trump Accuses Obama Administration of Wrongfully Investigating Him
As special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly targets all communications between President Donald Trump and his senior campaign team with a grand jury subpoena, Trump fired off the following tweet Monday morning:
This is reminiscent of Trump’s tweet in which he accused the Obama administration of “wire tapping” Trump Tower. That is a plausible accusation, as National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers -- who had submitted a FISA court review of suspicious spying on American citizens -- met with Trump at Trump Tower days after his election. The very next day, the president-elect and his team vacated Trump Tower to Bedminster, New Jersey.
Now, as Mueller heats up his investigation on the heels of released memos that question the validity of a Russia-Trump collusion, Trump is once again pointing the finger at what he thinks is the real scandal -- the Obama administration spying on a political opponent to keep him out of the White House.
Could there be any truth to Trump’s claim that the Obama administration started an investigation with “zero proof of wrongdoing” before the November election? Let’s look at some facts.
As we can see from a timeline compiled by Sharyl Attkisson, the FBI began a counterintelligence investigation in July of 2016 based on the DNC email “hack,” information from British spy Christopher Steele, and suspicious activity involving Carter Page (whom the FBI had been investigating separately with no evidence of involvement in collusion between Russia and Trump) and George Papadopoulos.
FBI Director James Comey violated procedure at this time by not informing congressional oversight he was investigating Trump, a significant detail that came out through questioning by Rep. Elise Stefanik at the Comey hearing. Why did he inform Obama and not congressional oversight? Because the matter was “too sensitive,” Comey answered. Yet, it is exactly because matters are sensitive that they are to be reported to congressional oversight.
We also know that opposition research, which eventually became the Steele dossier filled with unconfirmed and false information, was used as a basis to investigate Trump. In an interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS -- the firm that hired Steele for opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign -- said it was Steele’s idea to contact the FBI in June or July 2016 with information about Trump.
Simpson said the reason Steele contacted the FBI was because he suspected Trump of colluding with the Russians in the hack of the DNC computers. In response to a question by a committee member about whether Steele thought a crime was in progress, Simpson called it “espionage.” “They were hacking into the computers of Democrats and think tanks,” he said. “That’s a crime.”