Trump officials are the subject of an FBI investigation. Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies have alleged the Russian government deliberately meddled in the 2016 election. Thus far, evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Kremlin insiders has been circumstantial and limited to reporting from the Fourth Estate.
White House officials and members of Trump’s transition team are purging their electronic devices, alleges an inside source. First reported by MSNBC, the source indicated that Trump associates are “purging” their devices in anticipation of subpoenas related to the FBI investigation of Russia’s alleged role in compromising the American democratic process.
The accusation comes just weeks after government lawyers ordered the President’s aides to preserve any materials that could be connected to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
According to Andrea Mitchell:
“White House officials, people currently serving in the White House, and people who were part of the Trump transition, are now reportedly purging their electronic devices. Purging their phones.”
As noted by The Independent, Trump could face removal from office if the ballooning scandal gets too close to the President himself. According to John Schindler, a former NSA analyst who is critical of Trump:
“If, not just people around him, but the president himself is facing possible indictment down the road, that could be a game changer. He could be removed from office for that, whether he wants to be or not.”
“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time. They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW,” Trump wrote.
The news reports by CNN and The Associated Press said White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked Andrew McCabe, the FBI deputy director, to deny media reports that said Trump campaign advisers had been in frequent contact with the Russians.
A senior administration official told reporters on Friday that an FBI official had told Priebus a recent New York Times story about Russian contacts was not accurate. Priebus asked if the FBI could set the record straight.
The New York Times reported on Feb. 14 that members of Trump’s presidential campaign and other associates had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials, citing intercepted communications and other evidence.
Priebus’ contact with the FBI came as the bureau conducts ongoing investigations relating to Russian interference in the Nov. 8 U.S. election.
FBI counterintelligence agents are also examining financial transactions by Russian individuals and companies who are believed to have links to Trump associates.
“There are investigations that are going on and those investigations must find out exactly what Russia was doing in the United States,” Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN on Friday.
“We need a complete investigation and we certainly don’t want the White House at all trying to influence that investigation.”
U.S. Representative John Conyers said any White House attempt to influence the FBI was “deeply troubling.”
“The White House is simply not permitted to pressure the FBI to make public statements about a pending investigation of the President and his advisors,” Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement late on Thursday.