FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia

President Richard Nixon bids farewell to the White House staff in 1974

He maintained Mueller's investigators should first give the report to Trump's lawyers for review.

"The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has always been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice".

Comey's firing, rather than ending the Russian Federation investigation, led directly to the appointment, over Trump's objections, of Mueller, another former FBI director, to take over the Russian Federation probe.

In addition to determining whether or not the President was working for Russian Federation, the FBI also opened a criminal investigation to determine if the President's firing of Comey was obstruction of justice. The story says it is unclear whether Mueller is pursuing the counterintelligence case.

The investigation - a dual counterintelligence and criminal probe - was launched after the president fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017, the Times said, citing anonymous sources.

Comey recently attacked the president for telling "lies" and undermining the FBI's reputation and the rule of law.

But while Trump has slammed the probe as baseless, it has issued dozens of indictments and steadily chalked up convictions of some of the president's close associates - including his former personal lawyer, his ex-campaign chief and his former national security advisor.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, October 28, 2013. Trump has repeatedly called the Russian Federation probe a "witch hunt".

"The FBI's reputation has as taken a big hit because the president of the United States, with his acolytes, has lied about it constantly. The only way we can assert it is if we see what is in the report".

"People who know better, including Republican members of this body, have to have the courage to stand up and speak the truth". Apparently, the bureau's knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, and Trump's July 2016 press conference request - "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing - wasn't enough to pull the trigger on an inquiry".

President Trump told reporters at the White House Friday he had "very easily" completed his written answers for Mr. Mueller's investigation.

"This is absurd", Sanders said.

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