Trump claims FBI informant infiltrated his presidential campaign
WASHINGTON (SBG) - There are new concerns by White House allies and now President Donald Trump himself that his 2016 campaign may have been infiltrated or surveilled by the FBI, possibly for political purposes.
In a tweet Sunday, he asked the Justice Department to get involved.
In a statement, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, "if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."
Mike Seidman, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Law, said in an interview Monday there are a few ways to look at these allegations.
“If the FBI sent an informant to report on what was going on in the Trump campaign so as to help Hillary Clinton, that would indeed be a really major scandal,” he said.
But as of now, there’s no evidence that did happen -- only reports that an informant met with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadoplous starting in the summer of 2016.
Seidman said FBI involvement may very well be warranted.
“If the FBI instead is trying to prevent the infiltration of a campaign by foreign agents who don’t have the best interest of the United States at heart, that is a completely different matter,” Seidman said.
The reaction on Capitol Hill so far has largely been along party lines, with critics saying the FBI should have gotten involved and Trump supporters saying this new development could undermine the Russia investigation.
“If intelligence was collected on a rival political campaign, it would cross a red line and we would have to take immediate action to diagnose that activity and then ensure that it didn’t pollute other investigations improperly,” said House Oversight Committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., adding he thinks information on the matter should be declassified.
Democrats, meanwhile, are calling this an attempt to divert the public’s attention away from Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“This is another distraction and the classic operating style of the Trump White House is look over there, not over here. I think he’s afraid of the fact that they’re getting closer and closer to the truth,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.
In a place with an already crowded field of investigations, a new one about how and why an FBI informant may have gotten inside the Trump campaign.