The FBI opened an investigation into President Donald Trump to determine whether he was a secret Russian agent in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey, a new report has claimed.
Citing unnamed former law enforcement officials, the New York Times reported on Friday that the FBI opened the combined criminal and counterintelligence probe in May of 2017.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani dismissed the alleged investigation as baseless, pointing out that no evidence has publicly emerged in the 20 months since to support the idea that Trump is a secret Russian agent.
‘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,’ Giuliani told the Times.
Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, citing a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that sharply criticized Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
However, sources tell the Times that two events raised alarm at the FBI that Trump had fired Comey in an attempt to stifle their investigation into possible Russia election meddling.
The first was a draft of the letter Trump wanted to send Comey informing him of the firing, which the Times reports mentioned the Russia investigation.
The draft was never sent, after Rosenstein purportedly urged Trump to drop mention of Russia in the letter.
The final version of the letter that was sent, and made public, does mention the investigation obliquely, thanking Comey for ‘informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.’
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