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Philadelphia

DOJ expands probe, adds alleged Trump campaign infiltration

By Sheetal Sukhija, Philadelphia News
22 May 2018, 06:24 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, U.S. - After suggesting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) infiltrated his 2016 campaign, the U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to demand a formal review. 

In a series of tweets on Sunday, in which he denounced a "witch hunt" that, he said, had found no collusion by his campaign with Russia, Trump made his latest demand. 

Trump wrote on Twitter, “At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption…”

Adding, “…in the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam.”

The U.S. President then wrote, “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!”

On Friday, Trump first made the accusation that the FBI had sent a spy into his campaign team.

He said, “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true - all time biggest political scandal!”

Following the tweet, The New York Times published an article that suggested that there was, indeed, an FBI informant. 

While the person’s identity was not revealed, the person had reportedly been sent to speak to campaign aides but only after the FBI had received reports of "suspicious contacts linked to Russia.”

Later, it was revealed that the informant was an American academic working in the U.K., who is said to have made contact with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

Subsequently, a report in the Washington Post revealed that the informant in question has been aiding the Russia investigation since before Robert Mueller was appointed as the special counsel to head the probe a year ago. 

FBI launched its investigation in the middle of the election campaign in July 2016.

In response to Trump’s demand for an investigation into the claims, the US Department of Justice said on Monday that it will investigate whether FBI agents spied on his 2016 election campaign for "inappropriate purposes.”

U.S. Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein said while making the announcement that action would be taken if any infiltration was found.

He said in a 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.”

Further, DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a separate statement that "the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct."

She said that the expanded probe will "include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election."

Currently, there is already an investigation into all aspects relating to Trump's campaign and whether Russia tried to influence the outcome.

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