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King Cheeto Demands Investigation of Investigation

Sunday, Trump demanded that the Justice Department investigate whether the department or the F.B.I. “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign at the behest of the Obama administration, as he had working up to in recent weeks, cuz political enemies.  By ordering up a new inquiry, Trump crossed over into applying overt presidential pressure on the Justice Department to do his bidding.  Legal experts said such a presidential intervention could force a clash between the sitting president and his Justice Department as Richard M. Nixon did during Watergate.  In response, the Justice Department asked its internal watchdog, the Office of the Inspector General, to expand its current inquiry into the surveillance of a former Trump campaign official to include the questions raised by the president.  The president’s call came two weeks after he publicly expressed frustration with the Justice Department for failing to give Republican lawmakers documents they are seeking about the basis and findings of the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to sway the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump’s directive prompted speculation that he might be trying to push Mr. Rosenstein out of his job without explicitly firing him, a move the president has frequently considered on social media, pressers, and anywhere there is a microphone.  Rosenstein pushed back this month against Republican demands for more visibility into the special counsel’s inquiry, saying his department “is not going to be extorted.”  Trump and congressional Republicans are demanding are documents related to an F.B.I. informant who was sent to talk to three Trump campaign aides, calling the informant a spy dispatched to infiltrate his campaign for political purposes, though F.B.I. agents actually sent the informant to contact Mr. Trump’s campaign advisers only after receiving evidence that two of the aides had suspicious contacts linked to Russia.

The president has often charged that Mr. Mueller is leading a team of Democratic activists who are out to get him and has also sought to discredit Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, by noting that his wife ran as a Democrat for political office in Virginia with support and campaign donations from Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. However, Mueller is a Republican, as are several members of his staff, and the investigation is being overseen by Mr. Rosenstein, another Republican, who was Trump’s own choice to be deputy attorney general.

But hey, facts schmacks.

For more: NY Times

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