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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:27 PM

New: "F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia" [View all]

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

WASHINGTON ó In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the presidentís 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 presidentís 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 Moscowís influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trumpís ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the presidentís activities before and after Mr. Comeyís firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/politics/fbi-trump-russia-inquiry.html

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