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NYT: FBI Investigated Whether Trump Was Secretly Working for Russia After Comey Firing

by Axios | Updated on 1.12.19

After President Trump fired former FBI director James Comey in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into whether Trump was secretly "working on behalf of Russia against American interests," the New York Times reports.

Details: Intelligence officials had their concerns about Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign, but held off on opening an investigation because of the sensitive and potentially explosive implications that it came with. It was only after Trump twice tied the firing of Comey to his desire to put an end to the Russia investigation that officials decided to launch an inquiry into "whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security," per the Times.


  • The first red flag that alerted officials to the possibility that an investigation was necessary was an early draft of Comey's firing letter, in which Trump thanked Comey for telling him he was not a target of the Russia probe. The second was when Trump told NBC's Lester Holt in an interview that he had fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.
  • FBI officials reportedly felt validated when it was later revealed that Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office, "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” just days after the Comey firing.
  • The investigation had both a counterintelligence and criminal aspect to it — with the criminal question being whether he had obstructed justice by firing Comey, per the Times. The probe has since been handed off to special counsel Robert Mueller.
  • The aggressive move to investigate Trump reportedly set off "a vigorous debate" within the Justice Department over whether FBI agents overreacted by opening the counterintelligence probe.

Go deeper: Timeline — Every big move in the Mueller investigation

Axios

Written by Axios

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(396)
  • Thelma
    Voted Apathetic
    01/12/2019
    ···

    How can any American be happy with the knowledge that there is evidence that our president may be an asset of a hostile foreign country? And for those who say there is no evidence of collusion, one only has to look at the sensitive polling data Manafort was giving to high ranking Russians, or the many many contacts with high ranking Russian officials, the obstruction of justice charge against the Putin associate, Veselnitzkaya, the Trump Moscow deal, and on an on. If Obama or Hillary did these things..l oh the outrage! But Trump? Crickets! Trump needs to face his crimes, along with his corrupt family.

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  • Dicr
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Trumpets, when the pathological liar who lied about his campaigns connections to Russia tells you to look at Hillary and gives absolutely no proof the smart thing to do would be question him. Take your heads out of your asses.

    Like (74)
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  • BeStrong
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Of course the FBI investigates possibles links with Russian operatives. This is what the FBI does regardless of the political climate or populous leanings. This is not politics, it’s jurisprudence.

    Like (72)
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  • Ken
    Voted Sad
    01/12/2019
    ···

    You don't conspire with the Russians prior to the election and then cry presidential privilege. What was not ok for Nixon is still not ok for Trump. And why the Russians?

    Like (58)
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  • BlueSphere
    01/13/2019
    ···

    I think Mueller’s final report is going to shock the world and even those who believe Trump has conspired with Russia will be stunned at what it reveals.

    Like (50)
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  • Sandra
    Voted Apathetic
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Why wouldn't they?....#1)Trump's kid (Eric or Don Jr....I can't remember which.... stated years ago that they were getting "all the money they needed from Russia" (this after US money lenders would no longer give money to the Dead Beat in Chief)....#2) Trump wanted to lessen sanctions on the Russians during his campaign (Not at all suspicious)...#3) since then, trump has sided with Russia against our own Intelligence agencies....allowed the Russians into the Oval Office after the firing of Mr. Comey and bragged how firing Comey would smooth out the situation between him and the Russians....AND #4) Trump had purchased the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Ave. a few years ago and had it renovated with the explicit orders that renovations must be complete by Inaguration (sp?) Day...again, NOT at all suspicious...What did he know, that we didn't? ....#5) Trump has gone out of his way to meet with Putin and defend Putin at EVERY opportunity, even after the poisoning of the Father/Daughter team in England....#6) They ALL lied about the meeting at Trump tower (as if Trump EVER cared about orphans,,,Russian or otherwise!)...and #7) wasn't it Jared, Trump's son in law, who tried to set up a back channel to Russia...along with Gen. Flynn who was cozying up to Putin as well and lying about it... and in fact, started a Standing Ovation for the Russian Dictator, at a dinner they both attended...the list goes on and on....the FBI would have to be Deaf, Dumb and Blind (with the emphasis on DUMB) to NOT be suspicious and to act on that suspicion.

    Like (48)
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  • Chickie
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    #45, the guy who was elected by the electoral body, to be the leader of our country, raised red flags galore due to his actions or inactions with the Russians. I don’t think anyone is surprised. When the FBI or CIA, who have extensive experience on these matters, delves deeper into the relationship between an American, (no matter if he/she is president or a janitor), and the Russians, something seriously close to treasonous is going on. Let’s face it, #45 has never denied his love or admiration for leaders of power or rich; he’s absolutely drooling when they’re both! He admires Dictators, military generals, oppressors of their own people, such as Putin, Jong-un and the Saudi Arabian Royal Prince.

    Like (45)
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  • ManfromNebraska
    Voted Sad
    01/12/2019
    ···

    And they found nothing illegal! The Mueller witch-hunt is based on democrats hatred rather than truth! Shut it down and let’s move on!

    Like (29)
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  • Robert
    Voted Happy
    01/13/2019
    ···

    I think the depth of Trump’s worship of money will be revealed when Mueller releases his report. Trump is amoral, without a value system other than worshipping wealth. A bigot with no moral compass likely put money over country with connections to Putin.

    Like (43)
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  • LoungeLizard
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Good for them...seems fairly obevious that he is...the man-baby isn't smart enough to hide it...

    Like (33)
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  • Warren
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Why are people saying they found nothing. Only one person has the answer and that’s no one other than Muller. Trump is as crooked as they come.

    Like (28)
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  • DrCindyBean
    Voted Happy
    01/13/2019
    ···

    trump is a traitor

    Like (28)
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  • Mark
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Trump Derangement Syndrome is on fire! Wow! Did you ever consider maybe, just maybe he was elected because we are sick and tired of your leftist psycho babble bs?

    Like (27)
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  • JTJ
    Voted Sad
    01/13/2019
    ···

    Remember when all you dems hated Comey when he reopened the Hillary investigation? Then when Trump fired him, Comey became your hero. You are all hypocrites.

    Like (25)
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  • Jann
    Voted Happy
    01/13/2019
    ···

    They did NOT OVER REACT. They have not reacted quick enough for the charges of TREASON to be applied. This man does not have America or even the world in mind with any of his actions. He is a loose cannon, Bull in a China shop and a weapon of mass destruction!! THAT is Treason!! Forget impeachment. Go for Treason!! He tells us every day who he is with his lies, blame and egoic choices! ARREST/TRY/CONVICT/PROSECUTE/STRIP AND SELL OFF ALL HIS ASSETS, GIVE TO ALL THE PEOPLE HE BILKED/JAIL HIM IN A HARD CORE PRISON. Enough is ENOUGH. AND take all the rest of those government criminals with him. HIT RESET AMERICA.

    Like (24)
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  • Kat
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    I think he was working for Russia once he asked them to help he win the election. Russia didn't help him win without some sort of deals. Trump has stolen and cheated all his life. Why would the election be any different. He a multiplier and a predator. He has to be held accountable. He should not be above the law. Since so many of his men are going to prison. The only thing they have in common is Trump. Trump has to be the bottom line. He is far from innocent.

    Like (24)
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  • Curtis
    Voted Happy
    01/13/2019
    ···

    Congress needs to subpoena the interpreter from the “closed door” meeting immediately to find out what Donal Trump is trying to hide from his staff and the American people. He was in that meeting on behalf of the United States and nothing classified should have been discussed. We need and deserve to know what was discussed.

    Like (24)
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  • Chris
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    Remember when Republicans cared about things like this? They show no interest in investigating and some even protest against anyone looking into it. It’s sad.

    Like (19)
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  • Tommy
    Voted Happy
    01/12/2019
    ···

    No one is above the law. Trump's behavior and business history warranted an investigation. The highest office in the land should be held to the highest standards.

    Like (18)
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  • Kendall
    Voted Happy
    last Monday
    ···

    Please support investigation into why our current President has not released detailed content of his recent discussions of US/Russian concerns with Congress and the American citizenry.

    Like (18)
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