close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
January 13, 2019

FBI opened probe if Trump was working for Russians

Top Story

AFP
January 13, 2019

WASHINGTON: The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an inquiry in 2017 into whether US President Donald Trump was working on behalf of Russia, The New York Times reported, prompting him to blast the FBI on Saturday, insisting it acted "for no reason and with no proof".The investigation -- a dual counterintelligence and criminal probe -- was launched after the president fired FBI director James Comey, the Times said, citing anonymous sources.

The counterintelligence aspect consisted of determining whether Trump was knowingly or unknowingly working for Moscow and whether he is a threat to national security, the newspaper reported. It added the criminal portion related to Trump´s firing of Comey. The FBI investigation was soon folded into Robert Mueller´s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 vote and possible collusion between his campaign and Moscow, it said, adding that it was unclear if the counterintelligence aspect was still being pursued.

The Times said that the FBI had been suspicious of Trump´s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign. But it held off on opening an investigation until the president sacked Comey, who refused to swear his allegiance and roll back the nascent Russia investigation, which is now being spearheaded by Mueller. Trump has repeatedly criticized the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" and views it as a stain on the legitimacy of his presidency. But while Trump has slammed the probe as baseless, Mueller has issued dozens of indictments and steadily chalked up convictions of some of the president´s close associates -- including his former national security adviser, his former personal lawyer, and his ex-campaign chief.

Trump tweeted his reaction: "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 and with no proof, after I fired Lyin´ James Comey, a total sleaze!". According to Trump, "the FBI was in complete turmoil because of Comey´s poor leadership" and the way he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton´s use of a private server to send some government emails. "My firing of James Comey was a great day for America," Trump claimed, describing the former FBI director as "a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller."

The ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the investigators about his Moscow ties. The lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been sentenced to three years in prison for multiple crimes, including felony violations of campaign finance laws he undertook, prosecutors alleged, under Trump´s direction. And Trump´s former presidential campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has been convicted in one case brought by Mueller and pleaded guilty in another, over financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine before the 2016 campaign, and for witness tampering. Cell phone records show that Cohen was near Prague during the summer of 2016, supporting claims that he met there with Russian officials during the presidential election campaign, McClatchy news service has reported.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus