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President Donald Trump will meet Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday afternoon, one day after he demanded a probe into whether the FBI improperly “infiltrated or surveilled” his 2016 presidential campaign team for political reasons.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that the meeting was set to take place and described it as “routine,” but Sanders did say that Trump’s demand would likely come up.
On Sunday, Trump made public his frustration on Twitter, saying that he planned to order the investigation on Monday.
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
After the president’s tweet, the Justice Department then moved to ask its inspector general to look into Trump’s allegations.
“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.
In a further statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said that the inspector general would review the FISA application in a bid to understand whether there were political motivations behind the FBI’s investigation of suspected Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
The New York Times reported that the FBI used an informant to approach Trump campaign aides on three occasions during its investigation, citing anonymous sources. The publication made clear that this informant did not infiltrate the campaign or suggest that the individual acted illegally—despite the developing narrative among the president’s allies.
Congressional Republicans have been seeking access to classified documents on the informant, and earlier this month the Justice Department rejected a request for the information from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
Nunes was told that disclosing the information “can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives.”
If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal. Only the release or review of documents that the House Intelligence Committee (also, Senate Judiciary) is asking for can give the conclusive answers. Drain the Swamp!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2018
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.