Trump Orders DOJ to Investigate Potential Obama-Era FBI Surveillance on the Trump Campaign
On Sunday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced that he would direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether or not the FBI and the DOJ infiltrated or surveilled his 2016 presidential campaign, and whether or not Obama himself or his immediate advisers were involved.
"I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!" the president tweeted.
The president's announcement came mere days after The Washington Post confirmed previous reports that the FBI had used a covert agent to contact the Trump campaign, snooping for evidence of collusion with Russia.
The FBI source, reportedly a 73-year-old professor from Britain's University of Cambridge, met with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos in the summer of 2016. He later met with campaign co-chair Sam Clovis in August 2016. The spy reportedly served in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations.
The New York Times reported that the FBI source approached Papadopoulos, offering money for the Trump official to write an academic paper. The spy asked Papadopoulos if he knew anything about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion, reportedly told the spy he had no insight into Russian collusion.
The campaign staffer had been told months earlier that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton, in connection with the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (who was also working with Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier). Since that Trump Tower meeting yielded no results, Papadopoulos's response may not have been a lie.
Following these reports, Trump powerfully denounced the espionage tactics.
"If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal," the president tweeted Saturday. "Only the release or review of documents that the House Intelligence Committee (also, Senate Judiciary) is asking for can give the conclusive answers. Drain the Swamp!"