Trump demands Justice Department probe if campaign 'infiltrated'


U.S. President Donald Trump demanded on Twitter on May 20 that the Justice Department look into whether his 2016 presidential campaign was infiltrated or surveilled by the agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the Obama administration.

"If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action", Rosenstein said in a statement announcing the move.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he will "demand" that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign, an extraordinary order that came hours before his legal team said that the special counsel indicated its investigation into the president could be concluded by September.

In an analysis of Trump's Sunday tweets and Rosenstein's subsequent announcement at DOJ, CNN's Stephen Collinson on Monday morning argued that while the president's demand does not appear to be illegal in itself, "some critics believe that Trump's repeated pattern of leaning on the Justice Department and the FBI over the Russian Federation investigation could come close to showing intent that could amount to obstruction of justice".

Giuliani said the information discovered by the source, who was first reported by The New York Times to have met several times with Trump campaign officials who had suspicious contacts linked to Russian Federation, should eventually be made public and released to Congress, even if his identity is kept confidential.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein confirmed over the weekend he was directing the Justice Department's internal watchdog to begin investigating whether a government asset was placed in the Trump campaign for political motivations.

The department noted that a USA attorney would be consulted if evidence of criminal conduct was found.

Carter Page and Sam Clovis were the other members of the Trump campaign who had been contacted by the informant. "Law enforcement investigations must be initiated and carried out free from political interference".

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Meanwhile, House Democrats stood by the Justice Department following the President's demand for an inquiry into the department's actions regarding the Trump campaign.

After that meeting, the White House said in a statement the Department of Justice (DoJ) had asked its inspector general to expand the investigation. None consider that these agencies could have been attempting the hard task of investigating Russia's meddling in the campaign on Trump's behalf without improperly influencing the election by revealing the probe.

"This is appalling that President Trump would be so uninformed and that his chief of staff, his counselors, the White House counsel, would allow him to spew into the thinking of Americans that he has any right or authority to dictate to what the Department of Justice does", Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, said. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, termed the assertion "nonsense" in a tweet on Sunday.

The Washington Post reported a similar account. He has been identified by some United States media outlets but others have not, at the request of American intelligence officers who argue the disclosure could hamper other investigations.

There is already an investigation into all aspects relating to Trump's campaign for the 2016 election and whether Russian Federation tried to influence the outcome.

So far, the Mueller team has indicted a total of 22 people and companies.

But Mr Trump and his supporters have multiplied their attacks on the special counsel's work.