At the moment it's been confirmed by the director of the F.B.I that Trump and his people are being investigated closely for foreign ties with Russia, etc. (see below).

F.B.I. Is Investigating Trump’s Russia Ties, Comey Confirms

Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. was “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Counterintelligence investigations are among the F.B.I.’s most difficult and time-consuming cases, meaning an investigation could hang over the Trump administration for years even though such inquiries rarely lead to criminal charges.

American intelligence agencies concluded in January that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia personally ordered a covert effort to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances and aid Mr. Trump. That included hacking political targets, including the Democratic National Committee, and releasing embarrassing emails through the website WikiLeaks.


This happened with Trump so tell me. . .

  • Have there ever been any other presidential campaigns (or associated individuals) that consequently held the offices which they ran for that have been investigated by the F.B.I for ties with foreign government(s)—specifically this occurring against the POTUS or his associated people after being elected and inaugurated?
  • 2
    Just to clarify, I assume you are asking about "officially confirmed" investigations (as there is a long history of assumed investigations going back to the Hoover era).
    – user1530
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 3:38
  • I thought counter-espionage cases were typically hushed to avoid tipping the targets about our capabilities and procedures.
    – user9389
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:11
  • Please clarify that this Q is about successful campaigns, (i.e. those campaigners that consequently held those offices which they ran for), rather than any presidential campaign. Surely the FBI must have investigated various radical campaigners over the years.
    – agc
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


1996 Clinton campaign and China

The 1996 United States campaign finance controversy was an alleged effort by the People's Republic of China to influence domestic American politics prior to and during the Clinton administration and also involved the fund-raising practices of the administration itself.

Not only that but Clinton Administration (in power then) impeded the investigation.

President Clinton's FBI Director Louis Freeh wrote in a 22-page memorandum to then Attorney General Janet Reno in November 1997 that "It is difficult to imagine a more compelling situation for appointing an independent counsel."[46]

Robert Conrad, Jr., who later became head of the task force, called on Reno in Spring 2000 to appoint an independent counsel to look into the fund-raising practices of Vice President Gore.[50]

In addition to partisan complaints from Republicans, columnists Charles Krauthammer, William Safire, and Morton Kondracke, as well as a number of FBI agents, suggested the investigations into the fund-raising controversies (which some dubbed Chinagate) were willfully impeded.[53][54][55]

Alger Hiss, serving Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and Truman

Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 – November 15, 1996) was an American government official who was accused of being a Soviet spy in 19482 and convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950. Before he was tried and convicted, he was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department official and as a U.N. official. In later life he worked as a lecturer and author.

On August 3, 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a former U.S. Communist Party member, testified under subpoena before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that Hiss had secretly been a Communist, though not a spy, while in federal service. Called before HUAC, Hiss categorically denied the charge. When Chambers repeated his claim on nationwide radio, Hiss filed a defamation lawsuit against him.

During the pretrial discovery process, Chambers produced new evidence indicating that he and Hiss had been involved in espionage, which both men had previously denied under oath to HUAC. A federal grand jury indicted Hiss on two counts of perjury; Chambers admitted to the same offense but, as a cooperating government witness, was never charged. Although Hiss's indictment stemmed from the alleged espionage, he could not be tried for that crime because the statute of limitations had expired. After a mistrial due to a hung jury, Hiss was tried a second time. In January 1950, he was found guilty on both counts of perjury and received two concurrent five-year sentences, of which he eventually served three and a half years. Hiss maintained his innocence until his death.

Arguments about the case and the validity of the verdict took center stage in broader debates about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and the extent of Soviet espionage in the United States.2 Since Hiss's conviction, statements by involved parties and newly exposed evidence have added to the dispute. Author Anthony Summers argued that since many relevant files continue to be unavailable, the Hiss controversy will continue to be debated.[3] In 2001, James Barron, a staff reporter for The New York Times, identified what he called a "growing consensus that Hiss, indeed, had most likely been a Soviet agent."[4]

  • This Q is about campaigns. The above establishes Hiss was an official, but one can be an official without being part of a campaign.
    – agc
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:37
  • 1
    @agc - ask and ye shall recieve. See update. Is that sufficient to remove your downvote?
    – user4012
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:43
  • Downvote removed, but there'd be one more upvote if you either expunge Hiss or else can cite Hiss as a campaigner or campaign associate.
    – agc
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:52
  • @agc - I'm more likely to find campaign associates in the rest of the data, but I don't have access to some of the material at the moment. Hiss himself seems to have been a career Foggy Bottomer at the very least since 1940s.
    – user4012
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:53
  • The wiki for the '96 finance controversy doesn't actually say there was an official FBI investigation -- rather some folks in the FBI wanted to investigate, (and maybe they should have), but did not prevail in a sort of dueling detectives investigational turf war. "Missed it by that much!"
    – agc
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 16:04


Not openly no. You can find a consolidated list of Federal Political scandals and investigations here.

If you are seeking impeachments then you can find a list of Impeached Officials removed from Office and a list of Impeached Judges.

Political Scandals of a Federal / Political nature investigated by the FBI

1. Op Wind III

Operation Ill Wind was a three-year investigation launched in 1986 by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation into corruption by U.S. government and military officials, and private defense contractors.

The scandal led the United States Congress to pass the 1988 Procurement Integrity Act, which regulates the pay that procurement officials can get from contractors during the first year after they leave government, and forbids them to provide bid and proposal information to their new employers


Abscam, sometimes written ABSCAM, was a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation that took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. More than 30 political figures were investigated and among those a total of seven congressmen—six members of the United States House of Representatives and one United States Senator—were convicted.4 Not only were there members of Congress, but also one member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

  1. Watergate

Watergate was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s, following a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. in 1972 and President Richard Nixon's administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement. When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, the Nixon administration's resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis

Other Scandals

There are of course dozens of foreign intelligence investigations, too numerous to list here, and other high profile investigations including the Iran-Contra scandal but they did not use the FBI.

The FBI were involved in the Plame Affair (also known as the CIA leak scandal and Plamegate), a political scandal that revolved around journalist Robert Novak's public identification of Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003

  • @MagicallyDelicous - you should note I listed investigations by the FBI. I didn't really include Intelligence hearings, counter-intelligence operations and covert surveillance. See user4012 answer below for alternatives. Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 15:57

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