As impeachment proceedings were taken off of the table this week, the White House put payback back on the forefront of the conversation. The Democrats called out for investigations into everyone who was responsible for looking the Russia case to allies of Hillary Clinton, who received foreign help during the presidential campaign in 2016. According to Fox News and Friends, Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said that “All those things have to be explored and more.”
On televised interviews and social media websites, President Donald Trump, his campaign and senior members of his administration, and his attorneys have apparently changed their strategy, and have begun pointing fingers at Democrats and investigators for their alleged misconduct with the investigation.
On Monday, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway questioned on Twitter why the former director of the FBI, James Comey, put so much focus on the infamous anti-Trump dossier. In the tweet, Conway wrote: “Comey, then-FBI Director, waited 2 months after @realDonaldTrump was elected to pay a visit & brief the President-elect. While there, he wasted his time on this golden-shower-nonsense-concocted-dossier. Could have been honest about Obama ignoring Russian interference instead.” Trump also tweeted: “Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!”
Currently, the FBI is being sued by Judicial Watch, a conservative group, for the bureau’s failed response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The request was in regards to contacts that were made between the former FBI general counsel and one of Clinton’s top campaign lawyers. It also discussed the contacts between the author of the dossier and the FBI.
Comey later testified that in January of 2017, Trump was briefed about the contents of the dossier in order to make him aware of the potential threat of blackmail. Comey also told lawmakers that Obama appointee James Clapper, who was also the National Intelligence Director at the time, came up with the idea to tell Trump about what was written in the dossier.
Also this week, Rudy Giuliani called out for an investigation into whether or not a consultant for the Democratic Party worked with Ukrainian officials to try to find dirt on Trump’s campaign. On Wednesday, Giuliani said, “Keep your eye on Ukraine.” According to an investigation by Politico in 2017, it was discovered that Ukrainian officials not only tried to make look Donald Trump look unfit for office through the media, but they also worked diligently to make sure that Clinton was elected. Politico also discovered that the Ukrainian government was working alongside a consultant for the DNC in order to find dirt to use against Trump, which included going after Paul Manafort for his ties to Russia.
Last month, Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko from Ukraine began a probe into the alleged black ledger files, which is what led to Manafort’s departure. A tape was leaked that apparently showed a senior Ukrainian anticorruption official admitted to helping the Clinton campaign by disclosing Manafort’s information. According to a Ukrainian court, that move was an illegal interference in the U.S. presidential election.
On Tuesday, Giuliani tweeted: “Now Ukraine is investigating Hillary campaign and DNC conspiracy with foreign operatives including Ukrainian and others to affect 2016 election. And there’s no Comey to fix the result.” He repeated the rhetoric on Sunday, as well, when he said: “Is it a crime for an American campaign to consider information from a foreign source or to obtain it?” he asked in response to claims that Trump’s campaign behaved inappropriately when the met with Russian-affiliates who promised information that would damage Clinton. “If so the allegation that the DNC [Democratic National Committee] colluded with Ukrainian officials to generate information to hurt the Trump campaign and help the Clinton campaign must be investigated,” Giuliani continued.
Republicans, who are sticking to Mueller’s findings that none of Trump’s team members were illegally conspiring with Russia, have turned to another source of alleged collaboration between Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, and the decision to hire Fusion GPS. The decision to hire Fusion GPS led to the funding of the dossier, which was written by former spy Christopher Steele. This caused a frenzy among the anti-Trump media outlets, even though nothing in the dossier was ever proven. Regardless, the FBI still relied on the dossier to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance ACT warrant to pay attention to Carter Page, a former aide to Trump. It was apparent that the FBI didn’t inform the FISA court that Steele was working with a firm that was funded by the DNC and Clinton. In fact, the bureau told the court that the whole thing was in relation to the campaign for president.
The Inspector General for the DOJ is investigating whether or not the FBI violated their procedures or Page’s rights by keeping information from the FISA court. Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr said while testifying: “The Office of the Inspector General has a pending investigation of the FISA process in the Russian investigation, and I expect that that will be complete probably in May or June, I am told.” Devin Nunes, a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has sent the Justice Department numerous criminal referalls that are related to alleged crimes that occurred during the Russia investigation. According to Fox News, as many as “two dozen” people could be implicated in the investigation. While speaking to Fix News earlier this month, Nunes said: “The American people have only seen the pieces that have been declassified so far. There’s still more information.” Trump’s pushback has come after several Democrats have called for his impeachment. Despite wishes for his impeachment, the Democrats have admitted that they need more investigations before they can make that decision, according to Fox News.