In what seems to be a script written right out of Hollywood, the controversy surrounding the 2016 presidential election never seems to end.
On Monday, President Trump officially called the Department of Justice to investigate the origins of the FBI utilizing an informant or a mole to gain intelligence on Trump’s campaign.
The Justice Department complied and is now investigating possible political motivation by the FBI for utilizing the work of the informant, Stefan Halper.
The Inspector General will look to see if the FBI was weaponized into unfairly conducting the secret campaign infiltration and who from the Obama administration was authorized the order.
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) May 22, 2018
In a statement reported by CBS News, the Justice Department said:
The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign election.
As always, the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney General if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct. The Deputy Attorney General issued the following statement: “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”
JUST IN: DOJ asks Inspector General to investigate possible political motivation during the origin of Russia probe. pic.twitter.com/5dmfcolEh5
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) May 20, 2018
Republican Congressman Mark Meadows quickly responded to the updated investigation and put the blame back on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“Rod Rosenstein knows exactly what happened and what is in the documents requested by Congress,” Meadows said in a tweet. “Either the matter warranted investigation long ago and he did nothing, or he’s seen the facts and believes nothing is wrong. His belated referral to the IG is not news… it is a ruse.”
Rod Rosenstein knows exactly what happened and what is in the documents requested by Congress. Either the matter warranted investigation long ago and he did nothing, or he’s seen the facts and believes nothing is wrong.
His belated referral to the IG is not news… it is a ruse https://t.co/qd75MWRzXD
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) May 21, 2018
The new scope of the investigation came a day after President Trump specifically called for it on Sunday, then officially requested again on Monday.
Trump said, “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
Trump and Rosenstein reportedly met Monday afternoon. FBI Director Christopher Wray also attended the meeting.
JUST IN: White House releases statement on President Trump’s meeting with Deputy AG Rosenstein, Director of National Intelligence Coats and FBI Director Wray. pic.twitter.com/cg268tQRn5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 21, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 22, 2018
Here’s more, per Fox News:
President Trump on Monday met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, a day after demanding a DOJ investigation into whether the FBI “infiltrated” his 2016 campaign.
“Based on the meeting with the president, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Sanders said it was also agreed to that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will “immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with congressional leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.”