Once-secret reports show the FBI effort to spy on the Trump campaign was far wider than previously disclosed, as agents directed an undercover informant to make secret recordings, pressed for intelligence on numerous GOP figures, and sought to find “anyone in the Trump campaign” with ties to Russia who could acquire dirt “damaging to Hillary Clinton.”
The now-declassified operational handling reports for FBI confidential human source Stefan Halper — codenamed “Mitch” — provide an unprecedented window both into the tactics used by the bureau to probe the Trump campaign and the wide dragnet that was cast to target numerous high-level officials inside the GOP campaign just weeks before Americans chose their next president in the November 2016 election.
The Justice Department’s watchdog will release a much-anticipated report Monday scrutinizing the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016.
Republicans have eagerly awaited the report, believing it will reveal that the FBI abused the foreign surveillance court process in order to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Democrats hope the report will show that the FBI had a sound basis to investigate the Trump campaign.
President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that newly released documents about the origins of an investigation of a former adviser’s links to Russia help vindicate his claim that U.S. government investigators were spying on his 2016 election campaign. He contended in Twitter remarks that “as usual,” the documents “are ridiculously heavily…