President Donald Trump's defense attorney is not only a subject in a criminal investigation, but is also part of a counterintelligence probe into whether he was compromised by a foreign power, CNN reported Wednesday.
This is an investigation that goes far longer and back further than we realized and also that it’s much broader than we initially thought," CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Pérez reported.
"One of the things we’re getting a picture of, a better picture of is this involves not only Giuliani’s financial entanglements with allegedly corrupt Ukrainian figures but also counterintelligence angle is there to this and the idea that perhaps Rudy Giuliani and some of his business dealings were part of essentially an influence operation, a foreign influence operation with a target being the Trump White House," he reported.
Former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa explained the importance of the reporting.
"That’s very big," she said. "Because it means that whether or not Rudy Giuliani may have committed a crime, the FBI believes that he may pose a national security threat to the United States."
"And — by the way, I want to make clear this is not mutually exclusive with a criminal investigation. These can happen on parallel tracks just going at different goals," she noted.
Rangappa drew upon her experience at the Bureau to note one key implication of the details in the bombshell report.
"The fact Evan mentioned that FBI agents were questioning people about this as far back as February or March, when a counterintelligence investigation lasts longer than six months, that means it is the highest level of investigation. In other words, it poses the most serious threat, otherwise it would be shut down after six months," she noted.