Senior FBI officials, just after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, discussed several possibilities concerning the president and Russia, including whether he was acting in ways to benefit Russia or if he had been acting within the boundaries of executive authority, according to congressional transcripts obtained by CNN.
About a half-dozen officials, talking behind closed doors to members of Congress, discussed how they had discussed a wide range of topics, the transcripts showed.
On one side, they talked about the possibility that Trump could have fired Comey at Russia's orders, but the other was that he and the Kremlin did not have an improper relationship, CNN reported Monday.
Former FBI general counsel James Baker told House investigators last year that the FBI officials had a "range of things this could possibly be," and that "we don't know whether, you know, the worst-case scenario is possibly true or the President is totally innocent and we need to get this thing over with — and so he can move forward with his agenda."
The FBI also opened an investigation at the time to determine if Trump had obstructed justice by firing Comey, and on Friday, The New York Times reported that part of the reason for the probe was about whether Trump's actions benefited Russia.
The transcripts show new details about how the FBI launched the investigation, and the discussions that were happening inside the bureau before the internal investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, reports CNN.
Meanwhile, Republicans say the comments were evidence that the FBI's top officials had been planning to investigate Trump, even before Comey was fired. Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page had already testified that the FBI launched its investigation after Comey was fired, but had already contemplated a probe.
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