Trump: Why doesn’t DOJ investigate Obama administration?
President Trump is pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions to open an investigation into the Obama administration over Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to vent that Democrats are not under investigation, as special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia heats up.
Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation? Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Session!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018
So far, Mueller has induced guilty pleas out of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos for lying to the FBI. Both men are cooperating with the special counsel.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Richard Gates face a litany of charges over alleged financial crimes. Gates is believed to be in talks about working with the special counsel to build the case against Manafort.
And last week, the special counsel announced indictments against 13 Russians, exposing an alleged ring of foreign nationals who used social media platforms to sow divisions in the U.S. and undermine Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
That indictment was careful to note that there is no evidence at this point to suggest that any Americans knowingly worked with the Russians.
But Trump and his allies in conservative media have been sounding the alarm for months over what they say is evidence that Democrats ignored warning signs of Russian meddling and in some cases bent the law to ensure the president and his associates would be investigated.
The Mueller indictment of the Russian internet trolls says their work predated the 2016 election, provoking Republicans to accuse the Obama administration of not taking the threat seriously enough.
That has led to a round of bickering between Trump officials and former Obama administration officials over who has been tougher on Russia.
Ned Price, a former member of Obama’s national security council, argued Tuesday on MSNBC that the Obama administration focused on preventing Russians from manipulating voter rolls and votes and that they were successful in that area.
“This is a rich line of attack coming from a president who spills secrets to the Russians in the Oval Office, who relishes time with [President Vladimir] Putin both on the phone and in person and a person who refuses to enact punitive sanctions on Moscow for its attack on our democracy,” Price said.
Democrats have hammered Trump for not yet implementing new sanctions against Russia that were passed by Congress.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that those sanctions are still under review as she defended the administration as being tough on Moscow.
“The president has been extremely tough on Russia,” she said, arguing that Trump pushed through $700 billion to rebuild the military, has “helped export energy” to Eastern Europe, arm the Ukranians and close diplomatic properties in the U.S. while upholding Obama-era sanctions there.
“There are a number of places that Obama was too weak and refused to take and put pressure on Russia, where this president has,” Sanders said.
Meanwhile, a political fight rages over the infamous dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele and paid for in part by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The FBI and Department of Justice used that dossier, which relied heavily on intelligence from Russian officials, in part to secure warrants to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
Republicans have alleged that law enforcement officials hid from the surveillance court the Democratic origins of the dossier.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sent letters this week to former senior Obama administration officials demanding answers on what they knew about the dossier and when they found about it.
Conservatives have also sought to draw attention to Clinton operatives Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, who passed along their own research on Russia to a State Department official when John Kerry was secretary of State.
That work got passed along to Steele, who gave it to the FBI along with his own work.
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