Newly-released portions of a Justice Department memo show then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized Robert Mueller to take the Russia probe beyond its original scope.
Rosenstein's first directive to Mueller in a May 2017 memo instructed Mueller to investigate links between the Russian government and people associated with the Trump campaign.
But in August, Rosenstein broadened the scope and issued a second memo authorizing Mueller to investigate certain people in relation to possible crimes apart from the Russia probe, including campaign manager Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, businessman Carter Page, and low-level policy aide George Papadopoulos.
Republicans claim Mueller's probe was an investigation in search of a crime, and with the original claims of Russian collusion largely based on Russian disinformation found in the debunked Steele dossier that was paid for by the Clinton campaign.
Russian collusion allegations against Trump have unraveled with each investigation, now made clear as more documents are released.
After more than two years and millions of dollars, the Mueller Report released last year showed no collusion with the Russians by the Trump campaign. The investigation landed Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in prison, but for crimes that happened before he ever became part of the Trump campaign.
Other previously sealed documents released by the Department of Justice raise questions about a possible set-up of General Flynn by FBI agents, with handwritten notes by the then-counterintelligence director Bill Priestap openly questioning if the bureau's "goal" was to "get him to lie".
This and other document revelations prompted Flynn's attorney, Sidney Powell, to ask the court to reverse Flynn's guilty plea of lying to the FBI and to throw out the case against him claiming investigational misconduct. And just this afternoon, in a stunning reversal, the Justice Department announced it is dropping the case against Flynn. Read about that HERE.
Carter Page was never charged with anything.
According to The Federalist, the DOJ Office of Inspector General found that Rosenstein's DOJ fabricated evidence and falsified documents to obtain a warrant to spy on Page. An FBI lawyer is alleged to have altered documents to hide the fact that – rather than working for a foreign government on his many trips to Russia – that Page actually for years worked on behalf of the US government to help investigate Russian agents.