Uncertain future for FBI Russia investigation

McClatchy reports: The FBI-led probe into whether Russian influence operations helped put Donald Trump in the White House is on a knife’s edge and could easily veer into either of two distinct directions.

One possibility is that investigators will feel galvanized by President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI director James Comey and burrow ever deeper into a probe in which they see the reputation of the bureau at stake.

Or, with the FBI temporarily rudderless, Trump loyalists in the Justice Department could put the brakes on the investigation in multiple ways.

“They could just say, ‘We’ve got 60 days to tie this up. I’m not spending more person power inside the bureau. . . . Let’s just say wrap it up unless we’ve got a smoking gun,’ ” said Christopher H. Schroeder, a former assistant attorney general who headed the Office of Legal Policy.

Agents could be reassigned, Schroeder said, “and you could slow walk it by starving it.”

New indications arose Wednesday that Comey, whom Trump axed Tuesday, ostensibly for the way he handled the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, was seeking to expand the investigation into Trump’s inner circle and its ties to Russia. [Continue reading…]

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