January 20, 2019

F.B.I., Shutdown, Syria, Jayme Closs: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The F.B.I. opened an inquiry into whether President Trump was secretly working with Russia after he fired James Comey as F.B.I. director, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security.

The special counsel, Robert Mueller, took over the inquiry when he was appointed days after F.B.I. officials opened it. The investigation also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

The inquiry into Mr. Trump is part of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russia interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired. It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter.

No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.

Huawei has long denied spying for the Chinese government.

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