The FBI investigation into alleged coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government has identified a current White House official as a "significant person of interest," according to a new report.
The person of interest is a senior Trump administration adviser who is close to the president, the Washington Post reported Friday, citing sources would not further identify the individual.
The new report comes as the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia intensifies. Investigators have started conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. Sources told the Post that the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks.
The investigation is not only focused on those currently in the administration, but also Trump campaign associates no longer working for the president. These figures include former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Current administration officials who have acknowledged contact with Russian officials include Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The FBI's investigation is focused on whether and to what extent Trump campaign and transition team officials were in contact with Russian officials to interfere in the 2016 election. The bureau is also probing whether Trump associates have business ties to Russia and any connection between the Trump campaign and the hacking of Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign officials' emails.
The Post‘s sources emphasized that the accelerated pace of the investigation does not mean criminal charges are imminent, or that they will be produced at all. They also noted the pace had increased prior to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation.
The so-called bipartisan "gang of eight" leaders in Congress who are briefed on national security matters by the executive branch were notified of the uptick in the investigation on Wednesday evening.