Legal Analysis

There Would be Nothing Illegal Even If the FBI Really Had Trump Informant

Donald Trump Jake Sherman Supreme Court Twitter tweet

On Friday, President Donald Trump lamented reports that federal law enforcement officials may have had a person inside the Trump campaign acting as a source that led to them opening the investigation into what role the campaign played in Russian interference with the 2016 election.

Trump said that this would be the “all time biggest political scandal” if true. Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement. As far as having an “FBI representative” planted within the campaign “for political purposes,” former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman said in a tweet that this “simply does not happen,” and the FBI doesn’t work that way.

Basically, that means that if the FBI did have an inside person within the Trump campaign, there would be a law enforcement-related reason for it, not some political agenda. This seems obvious, because why would they bother having someone on the inside if they didn’t suspect any wrongdoing?

Now, if the FBI did have an informant in the campaign, that might be a big story, but it wouldn’t be illegal. Law enforcement agencies use confidential informants all the time to gather information. They do this when they suspect that other people are breaking the law and they want to get proof.

If the Trump campaign didn’t do anything wrong, as the president insists, then there’s not much of a reason to be upset that the FBI may have been snooping.

[Image via Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images]

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