President Donald Trump told a rally crowd in Florida on Oct. 12 that his administration will “take care” of the people involved in the investigation of his 2016 campaign after the election.
“We’ll take care of it all after the election. We caught them cold. We caught them cold. Bad people—crooked Hillary—and by the way Obama and Biden knew everything that was happening, okay? Just in case you had any questions,” Trump said.
“We’ll take care it after the election … but that gives you another reason to go out and vote. We gotta get in because if we don’t they’ll just sweep it under the rug,” the president added.
The Obama-administration FBI opened an investigation of the Trump campaign in July 2016 based on a theory that one or more campaign associates could have coordinated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee with Russia. After roughly 10 months, then-special counsel Robert Mueller took over the investigation. The special counsel concluded the wide-ranging probe finding no evidence of coordination between the campaign and Russia.
The FBI utilized a number of spying methods during the investigation, including spies who targeted campaign associates and an intrusive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The bureau used an opposition research dossier funded by the Clinton campaign as evidence to secure the warrant, but failed to disclose that Trump’s election opponent paid for the document.
A former British spy, Christopher Steele, paid a suspected Washington-based Russian spy, Igor Danchenko, as the key source for many of the major claims in the dossier. Danchenko later told the FBI that Steele took rumors and bar talk he passed on and presented the flimsy claims as credible facts.
The FBI’s investigation, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, has faced intense scrutiny from Congress, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, and now the criminal investigation led by U.S. Attorney John Durham. Kevin Clinesmith, who served as the key FBI attorney on the Mueller team, pleaded guilty in August to a single false statement charge filed by Durham. Clinesmith admitted to forging an email as part of the process to obtain a renewal FISA warrant on Page.
Trump has long claimed that the Obama administration weaponized the federal agencies to target his campaign, calling the effort, which continued well past the election, an attempted coup.
“They were spying on our campaign and illegally trying to take down a very very straight forward and legally sworn in administration,” Trump said in Florida. “They tried it before the fact. They tried after the fact.”
“And then they say, ‘will you agree with a friendly transfer of power?’ For four years they’ve been trying to get us out of office.”