Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.
The Justice Department on Sunday confirmed that its inspector general would investigate whether “there was any impropriety or political motivation” in the FBI’s work during the 2016 campaign.
The new investigation, the DOJ said, would be added to an existing one into the FBI’s application for a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The announcement came just hours after President Donald Trump appeared to demand just that in a tweet:
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
Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement she shared with TPM:
The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or 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 election. As always, the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct.
She added the following statement from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein:
“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”
The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, announced in March that he would probe the FBI’s application for a surveillance warrant to suveil a member of Trump’s campaign — believed to be foreign policy adviser carter page.
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