President Donald Trump doesn’t want an “Obama guy” looking into his campaign’s alleged ties to Moscow — even if the investigation could uncover wrongs against his own campaign.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions had announced on Tuesday that the Justice Department’s inspector general would be investigating an allegation, made in a GOP memo, that the FBI misled a judge to justify spying on a member of the Trump campaign. But Trump disparaged the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, who took his post during President Obama’s administration in 2012. “Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL,” Trump wrote in a tweet on Wednesday,
Sessions had confirmed that the Department of Justice would be looking into the matter during a press conference about the opioid. He had already alluded to an investigation by his department’s inspector general on Fox News’ ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ earlier this month, although it’s unclear if they’re one in the same.
"We believe the Department of Justice must adhere to the high standards in the FISA court and, yes, it will be investigated. And I think that’s just the appropriate thing," Sessions said Tuesday, referring to the secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which issues warrants for the surveillance of people with ties to foreign countries or groups. "The inspector general will take that as one of the matters they’ll deal with," he added.
In early February, President Trump signed off on making the memo, now causing a stir, public — against the recommendation of members of the intelligence community. Its author, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes alleged that the FBI did not, and should have, disclosed that Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, had funded research used in an applications for a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Paige.
All signs point to Trump being pleased the the Justice Department is looking into alleged transgressions against his campaign staffers. But the president apparently doesn’t want anyone he hasn’t appointed doing the digging.
Trump has been publicly chastising Sessions for his handling of the Russia investigation. The president reportedly did not agree with Session’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation, and, last week, he suggested in a tweet that Sessions should be investigating Democrats’ complicity in Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Cover image: United States President Donald J. Trump hosts the 2018 White House Business Session with Governors, February 26, 2018, at The White House in Washington, DC. (Chris Kleponis/ CNP)