President Trump, amid the longest shutdown in US history, has channeled his wrath at the FBI, following a New York Times report that the agency launched an investigation into whether he had been working on Russia's behalf when he fired James Comey as director of the bureau in May 2017.
According to The New York Times, officials sought to uncover whether Trump was a threat to national security, knowingly worked for Russian Federation, or if Moscow influenced him without him realizing it.
"Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security", Baker said in his testimony, portions of which were read to The New York Times.
"Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike", Trump wrote.
According to the New York Times, top FBI officials had already grown suspicious of Trump during the campaign but at first balked at starting a counterintelligence investigation, in part because they were "uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude". It's unclear if Mueller is still investigating the counterintelligence inquiry into Trump.
In this image released by ABC News, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey appears at an interview with George Stephanopoulos during an April 15, 2018 prime time '20/20′ special on the ABC Television Network.
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Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he didn't know of that probe while also downplaying it.
The decision to secretly investigate the president for possibly threatening national security triggered a "vigorous debate" within the Justice Department. The Times previously reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mr. Mueller rather than keeping the Russian Federation probe in-house, talked of wearing a wire when he met with the president.
The White House dismissed the New York Times report as "absurd".
The FBI examination was before long collapsed into Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian obstruction in the 2016 vote and conceivable agreement between his battle and Moscow, it stated, including that it was hazy if the counterintelligence perspective was all the while being sought after.
The FBI did not respond to a query on the alleged investigation against Trump.
The paper's report cited unnamed former law enforcement officials, "others familiar with the investigation", and the congressional testimony of former FBI general counsel James. "The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing", he said.
"The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has always been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice".