Trump demands DOJ probe claims of campaign surveillance

President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE on Sunday said he’ll ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether the FBI surveilled his campaign.

“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!” Trump tweeted. 

Not long afterward, the DOJ announced it had asked its inspector general to expand its probe into alleged surveillance abuses to encompass the most recent claims.

“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

Trump has spent the last few days sounding the alarm on Twitter about claims that an FBI informant was embedded within his campaign. He has alleged, without evidence, that the FBI sought to spy on his campaign for political purposes, which Trump argued would be a scandal "bigger than Watergate."

ADVERTISEMENT

The New York Times reported Friday that an FBI informant met with two former Trump campaign advisers, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE and Carter Page, after they'd received information that those two had contacts with Russia.

Trump's calls for an investigation into the matter come as House Republicans have pushed for access to documents that reveal the identity of the informant who gave investigators information about possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

The DOJ denied a request earlier this month from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThree key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe Pentagon watchdog finds NSA properly sidelined GOP operative hired as top lawyer News organizations, journalists ask court to review decision on Nunes lawsuit MORE (R-Calif.) for details related to the source. The DOJ said that releasing such information would put lives at risk and endanger national security.

Despite those warnings, Trump has joined in the calls for the source to be revealed.

Democrats have also warned that doing so would jeopardize the source and national security, and could pose a legal risk. They have suggested claims the FBI spied on Trump's campaign are part of an effort to undermine special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump has long blasted Mueller's probe as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax."

Four former Trump associates have pleaded guilty or been indicted as part of the investigation thus far.

Updated: 7 p.m.