Trump tried to influence FBI investigation of Russia ties

CNN is reporting that the Trump White House violated federal rules by attempting to influence an ongoing investigation by the FBI (and other agencies) into contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign staff and other associates and Russian intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign.

CNN reports that the Trump White House wanted the FBI and other agencies to help kill news stories about the contacts by going public and claiming that there were no such contacts.

In fact, the FBI and other agencies were and are investigating just that question, whether and to what degree there were contacts between Trump’s associates and Russian intelligence during the campaign. So the FBI refused.

In other words, the Trump White House contacted the FBI during an ongoing investigation and pressured the FBI to issue a conclusion about that investigation that was contrary to fact. Not only is such action inappropriate on its face, but it also violates federal rules that were put in place to preclude exactly this kind of scenario, where a White House attempts to influence an ongoing investigation of itself.

What’s particularly odd about this is it’s just not credible that the White House didn’t know the investigation was taking place. It had already been reported on in the NYT and by CNN. Surely, if the White House hadn’t know about the investigation before the stories came out, once it was reported they checked with their sources at FBI and elsewhere to confirm that in fact the investigation was ongoing. That means White House chief of staff Reince Priebus knowingly asked the deputy director of the FBI to lie, which potentially could have affected the investigation by other agencies and by Congress — if the FBI says it’s not true, that carries weight. And that would constitute interference with multiple investigations.

CNN has more:

The Trump administration’s efforts to press Comey run contrary to Justice Department procedure memos issued in 2007 and 2009 that limit direct communications on pending investigations between the White House and the FBI.

“Initial communications between the [Justice] Department and the White House concerning pending or contemplated criminal investigations or cases will involve only the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General, from the side of the Department, and the Counsel to the President, the Principal Deputy Counsel to the President, the President, or the Vice President from the side of the White House,” reads the 2009 memo.

The memos say the communication should only happen when it is important for the President’s duties and where appropriate from a law enforcement perspective.

It’s ironic that the FBI refused to go along with Trump’s pressure, as FBI Director James Comey is widely credited with helping put Donald Trump in office. I had argued a few weeks ago that we should stop calling for Comey to resign, as Comey just might surprise us by being a fair player in dealing with Trump, if only because he needs to clear his record and show that he truly is non-partisan. And so far, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

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27 Responses to “Trump tried to influence FBI investigation of Russia ties”

  1. ORAXX says:

    This is an admission of guilt on the part of the Trump administration. If there is no connection between Trump and the Russians, then why not cooperate fully with the investigation and let the FBI exonerate the President? The stench of Republican hypocrisy gets worse by the hour.

  2. FairObserver News says:

    You have given great information but i think for relevant and related services of news on America, News on Donald Trump analysis, Latest Donald Trump news, world news analysis, world this week, you should visit the http://www.fairobserver.com/

  3. quax says:

    You mistake me for somebody else. I am not affiliated with the Democratic party.

    But for what it’s worth, if I was, I’d probably dismiss your comments as concern trolling, although there is some truth to them.

    And yes, the hate and disgust with the other political camp within the USA is at a historic high, and it was already bad enough when I still lived there. The Russian meddling is IMHO mostly targeted at amplifying this (which is relatively easy). The Cremlin has been cultivating the fervent dream that the US could be destroyed from within for a long time, and they are very pissed off about the Ukraine situation (not entirely unjustified I may add).

  4. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Yes Comrade! How many rubles are you paid per comment, because you did well in this thread?

  5. Whatever says:

    They did everything.
    If you get crabgrass in your yard, they did it.

  6. Holly Keefe says:

    Maybe the Democratic party and those that support him weren’t acting like hysterical tantrum throwing children, I care more. As it stands they’ve cried wolf ten times to many. Remberer what a racist Romeny was? Most conservatives before Trump thought liberals just stupid or misinformed. You guys think the majority agree down right evil. Trump is president because of the actions of progressive liberals who refuse to take any accountability for their past actions blaming everybody but themselves. I have seen little to no introspection or conversation about the DNC rigging the primaries. Or the fact your candidate was under FBI investigation when nominated. Not to mention the so called charity that coincidentally of going under. That’s just the tip of the ice berg. Start pulling the beam at of your own party’s eye before you start looking for splinters in the Republican’s. Maybe then more then just radicals and people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome will listen to your claims.

  7. Suga says:

    Like Nixon…”History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes”

    The 2016 Election was absolutely hacked!
    Flynn and Son PUSHED FAKE CLINTON NEWS LIES…Via Russia to Wikileaks.
    FACT: “Trump Adviser Pushed Clinton Conspiracy Theories”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/politics/-michael-flynn-trump-fake-news-clinton.html?_r=1

    And here’s Flynn working hard for Trump Early on Trashing HRC
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUZfrHv6Ke0

    Flynn’s The Key to Russia Hacking our Election…
    Where’s the Investigation?

  8. rmthunter says:

    “. . . if only because he needs to clear his record and show that he truly is non-partisan. And so far, that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

    I’m not sure if Comey was just being a true Republican (“Party first!”) or just hated Clinton, although I’m inclined to believe the latter. Either way, the damage that he intended to do is done, so he can play it straight from now on. I wouldn’t, however, count too much on his being nonpartisan.

  9. quax says:

    If we already had clear evidence for illegal activities tying Russian money to Trump, than we hardly had this conversation, but if you don’t think this gives rise for a lot of question that should be asked, and properly answered, then you are willfully ignorant.

    For instance how exactly did Felix Sater secure financing for Donald Trump, and where did the money come from? http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/learning-eye-popping-details-about-mr-sater

  10. Holly Keefe says:

    Read it and nothing of significance jumped out at me. Can you be specific about what was illegal?

  11. quax says:

    And by not having an investigating you can ensure that speculation is all we have – that and well sourced NYT articles.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/19/us/politics/donald-trump-ukraine-russia.html?_r=1

  12. Holly Keefe says:

    Right such an easy pat response. And yet no one on here as shown anything beyond speculation.

  13. william boydston says:

    trollarama, trollarama! oh, the stupid becomes you, little missy.

    Go now, your Master needs something to grab.

  14. Alieninthissociety says:

    Tax returns!

  15. Demosthenes says:

    Why aren’t criminal charges being made against Trump? Oh, right, his alt right buddy Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is “AG”.

  16. Holly Keefe says:

    I don’t read Breitbart. And there are two news anchors I like on Fox, that I watch maybe three times a week, not each but total. Most of news I get through a variety of sources. Most of which I cross reference. So for example if an article references a study I will read the study myself if I can find it. Another example so and so said this outlandish thing I won’t believe how it’s spun until I hear myself or see transcript. I read liberal publications like Vox, Atlantic, NYT, WaPo and Huffington Post, to better understand the liberal perspective. I followed the the whole election from the primaries. It’s one thing to show that Russia attempted to influence the election it’s another to show that that influence affected the outcome. Also that Trump or his campaign were colluding with the Russians to affect the outcomes. If you have anything besides speculation I’d love to see it.

  17. Zorba says:

    Have you actually read anything besides Breitbart News (or Infowars) or listened to any news outlets other than Fox News?
    Because it sure doesn’t seem like it.
    Well, I guess ignorance is bliss, at least for you.

  18. brel1 says:

    Comey’s efforts were to get the Republicans elected and ultimately to get rid of Trump when the Republicans are ready. Trump was used by the Republicans. His days are numbered. It’s just about the best timing for the Republicans in Congress. The Republicans or at least certain ones were in on the scheme. No doubt the end for Trump will come earlier than they expected.

  19. Annette Delcey says:

    You’re right. Your stupidity is too much.

  20. TimCA says:

    If Trump applied pressure before he came to power, what’s he trying to do to these investigations now that he actually has power?

  21. watsupwitthat says:

    There should be a special investigation into the Russian connection with #45. The American people deserve to know the truth.

  22. this_comment_is_quite_pithy says:

    If they didn’t do it, why is Trump so scared?

  23. Russell Dee says:

    You act as if it’s impossible that the Russians helped Trump get elected and impossible that the Russians have something on Trump. Of course it’s possible, you moron.

  24. Holly Keefe says:

    The Russians did it the Russians did it! Oh the stupidity is too much!

  25. Niblet58 says:

    Methinks he doth protest too much…

  26. "Patriots" Bane says:

    This is what should be demanded. An independent investigation/commission.

  27. fry1laurie says:

    Special Prosecutor, anyone?

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