The New York Times is reporting that in the early days of the Trump administration the FBI opened up an investigation into whether Donald Trump was working as a Russian asset against American interests. The trigger for the FBI was when Trump fired his then-FBI Director James Comey. NYT writes:
In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
Just wow. We have all imagined this might be the case, but the FBI actually opened an investigation into it. The FBI was then running two different investigations that got folded into Robert Mueller’s purview: a counterintelligence investigation and a criminal investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice. In essence, Trump’s potential obstruction of justice then became a national security concern since the FBI wondered if Trump was under Russian influence.
The Times reports that it isn’t clear whether Mueller is still working the counterintelligence aspect of the probe. The FBI had reportedly grown suspicious of Trump during the 2016 campaign but had hesitated to open such a probe “because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.”
Indeed. Seems like that got even more sticky with a sitting president.