Trump: If FBI spied on campaign, it’d be ‘big­ger than Water­gate!’

The Republican Herald - - NATION / WORLD - BY DAR­LENE SU­PERVILLE

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump lent cre­dence Thurs­day to re­ports that FBI in­for­mants had in­fil­trated his pres­i­den­tial campaign, say­ing that “if so, this is big­ger than Water­gate!”

Trump made the com­ment on the an­niver­sary of Robert Mueller’s ap­point­ment as spe­cial coun­sel to head the Jus­tice Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion into pos­si­ble co­or­di­na­tion be­tween Rus­sia and Trump campaign of­fi­cial. Trump has re­peat­edly called the in­ves­ti­ga­tion a “witch hunt.”

“Wow, word seems to be com­ing out that the Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EM­BED­DED INFORMANT,’ ” Trump tweeted. “Andrew Mc­Carthy says, ‘There’s prob­a­bly no doubt that they had at least one con­fi­den­tial informant in the campaign.’ If so, this is big­ger than Water­gate!”

Mc­Carthy, a con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor at the Na­tional Review, wrote an ar­ti­cle pub­lished last week head­lined “Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?”

The New York Times re­ported sep­a­rately this week that at least one gov­ern­ment informant met sev­eral times with Carter Page and Ge­orge Pa­padopou­los, both for­mer foreign pol­icy ad­vis­ers on Trump’s Re­pub­li­can campaign. The news­pa­per at­trib­uted the in­for­ma­tion to cur­rent and for­mer FBI of­fi­cials.

White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said if the re­ports are proved true, “it should cer­tainly be looked into.”

The Water­gate scan­dal in the early 1970s oc­curred fol­low­ing a break-in by five men at Demo­cratic Party head­quar­ters at the Water­gate build­ing in Wash­ing­ton and sub­se­quent at­tempts by the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon to hide its in­volve­ment. Nixon, a Re­pub­li­can, ul­ti­mately re­signed from of­fice as a re­sult of the en­su­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Mean­while, Trump’s at­tor­ney Rudy Gi­u­liani said that the pres­i­dent still wants to tes­tify in the Rus­sia probe.

Speak­ing Thurs­day on “Fox and Friends,” the for­mer New York mayor said Trump will only sit down with Mueller if “we feel there’s a way to shorten this thing.” He added that Trump re­mains ea­ger to of­fer his “side of the case.”

Gi­u­liani has been urg­ing Mueller’s team to wrap up the in­ves­ti­ga­tion now that the probe has reached the one-year mark.

Gi­u­liani’s team has been weigh­ing whether to al­low Trump to sit for an in­ter­view with Mueller. He said the le­gal team is “pretty com­fort­able, in the cir­cum­stances of this case, that they wouldn’t be able to sub­poena him per­son­ally.”

While the Supreme Court has never defini­tively ruled on the sub­ject, it ap­pears that a sit­ting pres­i­dent could be forced to tes­tify. In 1974, jus­tices held unan­i­mously that a pres­i­dent could be com­pelled to com­ply with a sub­poena for tapes and doc­u­ments.

If Trump were sub­poe­naed and did not want to tes­tify, he could al­ways in­voke his con­sti­tu­tional right not to tes­tify against him­self and de­cline to an­swer ques­tions. But that act would pose sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal risk.

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