Trump Tower was in fact wiretapped by the FBI to monitor the Russians, but the wiretap ended well before the presidential election and President Donald Trump was not the target.
ABC News reported Tuesday that a wiretap was initiated after getting a court approved warrant to monitor a Russian crime syndicate that was a leaseholder in the building.
The wiretap lasted for two years, ending in 2013, during President Barack Obama’s second term.
“The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. Known as the ‘Little Taiwanese,’ Tokhtakhounov was the only target to slip away, and he remains a fugitive from American justice,” according to ABC News.
Tokhtakhounov was allegedly running a money laundering and gambling scheme out of Trump Tower’s unit 63A.
“Everything was moving in and out of there,” former FBI official Rich Frankel said.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 21, 2017
“He would have people come in and meet with them. He would use the phones. He would also communicate, wither it was through e-mail or other communications through there,” Frankel said of Trincher.
Tokhtakhounov’s base of operations was Trump Tower.
According to Circa, the FBI also briefly monitored a computer server in Trump Tower last October as part of an FBI investigation into Russian efforts to influence the election.
“The brief counter-intelligence operation yielded no evidence of criminal activity by anyone on Team Trump,” the news outlet reported based on multiple sources within the bureau.
“And, while the FBI did monitor the Trump Tower server, it did so with a court order, and agents did not listen in on any of Donald Trump’s phone calls or emails. Instead, they were examining possible computer communications with a Russian bank — something that turned out to be innocuous,” reported Circa.
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