The Obama Justice Department and the FBI twice debated whether to give the Trump campaign a “defensive briefing” on Russia but decided not to, according to the department’s inspector general report.
Supporters of President Trump say such a heads-up could have changed history and short-circuited an investigation, given that no Trump loyalists were found to have collaborated with Russian hacking after a nearly three-year FBI probe.In the first discussion, FBI Director James B. Comey reached out to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, who didn’t act and considered a briefing “down the road.” In an odd twist, Mr. Comey told the inspector general that he didn’t remember the discussion.
The second discussion ended with an FBI decision not to conduct a true defensive briefing. Instead, after opening an investigation, they sent a counterintelligence agent to penetrate the Trump campaign to probe any collusion with Russia. The campaign received no alert about Moscow’s computer hacking or social media warfare against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The visiting agent later wrote a report on Form 302, which is completed in criminal investigations.