The Latest: Trump orders FBI probe - and IG to widen query
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the special counsel’s probe into Russian election meddling (all times local):
President Donald Trump says that he will “demand” that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign.
The extraordinary order on Sunday came hours before his legal team said that the special counsel indicated its investigation into the president could be concluded by September.
The Justice Department said later it had asked its internal watchdog to expand its existing probe of FBI actions.
Trump’s demand is part of the White House’s aggressive new strategy to combat the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into the Russia probe.
The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, tells The Associated Press that Mueller recently shared a timetable that suggested that its probe could end by Sept. 1 if Trump were to sit for an interview in July.
The Justice Department has asked its inspector general to determine whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with Russian agents who interfered in the presidential election.
A department statement came Sunday after President Donald Trump tweeted that he would “demand” that the DOJ open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes. The president said he also wanted investigated whether any demands or requests for such action originated with the Obama administration.
Trump has been promoting a theory about a possible FBI spy on the campaign, though his attorney has cast doubt on it.
The inspector general has already been examining FBI actions in the early stages of the Russia investigation.
The president’s lawyer says special counsel Robert Mueller could conclude his probe by September if President Donald Trump agrees to an interview.
Rudy Giuliani tells The Associated Press that Mueller recently shared a timetable that suggested that its probe could end by Sept. 1 if Trump were to sit for an interview in July, which is the legal team’s new working plan.
Giuliani says he fears that if the probe ran longer than that, it could damage Republicans fortunes in the midterm elections.
Giuliani also says that Mueller’s team indicated that the entire probe could end by September, not just the investigation into potential obstruction of justice.
The former New York mayor says that “would be the culmination of the investigation into the president.”
President Donald Trump says he’ll demand that the Justice Department review whether it or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes and whether any demands or requests came from the Obama administration.
Trump tweeted Sunday: “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!”
Trump has been promoting a theory circulating in conservative circles about a possible FBI spy on the campaign.
But Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani cast doubt on that last week, saying neither he nor the president knows for certain if there was a spy.
Giuliani says they had been told about possible “infiltration.”