The Justice Department asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, after the president demanded Sunday that the department investigate the motives behind the inquiry.
Earlier Sunday, in one of a series of tweets targeting the probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump wrote: “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!”
Mr. Trump was referring to a man who approached at least two Trump campaign aides in 2016 in connection with the counterintelligence investigation into the campaign. Special counsel Robert Mueller took over that investigation last May when he was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The Wall Street Journal has identified the suspected informant as Stefan Halper, an American who was a foreign policy scholar at the University of Cambridge until 2015. Mr. Halper couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
The Journal made no agreements to withhold his name from publication and is one of several media outlets identifying him. Some lawmakers and law-enforcement officials have expressed concern about compromising sources for the investigation, saying it could put lives in danger, hurt investigations and damage international partnerships.
SOURCE: Rebecca Ballhaus, Peter Nicholas and Sadie Gurman
The Wall Street Journal