The mission was codenamed "Crossfire Hurricane" (a reference to The Rolling Stones), and it initially gravitated around Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who spoke to Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and was treated to his drunken ramblings about Russian Federation having dirt on Hillary Clinton.
On his radio show Wednesday night, LevinTV host Mark Levin discussed new revelations about a "secret cabal" of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that began surveillance of President Trump and his campaign over three months before the November 2016 election.More news: BMW reveals first image of next-generation 'i' vehicle
Donald Trump's relations with Australia were tested when he took office a year ago over a refugee swap deal and the FBI's investigation into his 2016 campaign has the potential to cause a new diplomatic rift.
It was opened on July 31, 2016, because of a tip from Australia's ambassador to the United Kingdom, that one of Trump's advisers, George Papadopoulos, knew in advance about Russian meddling in the election.
That contrasts starkly to FBI director James Comey's treatment of the Clinton campaign: He sent a letter to Congress about the reopening of an investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server 11 days before the election, and subsequently held a press conference about his decision not to recommend charges.
"Crossfire Hurricane", a reference to a Rolling Stones lyrics, continued in secret as Trump publicly railed against the investigation, calling it a "witch hunt".More news: Iran Does Not Want 'New Tensions' in Mideast, Says Rouhani
Papadopoulos became one of Mueller's first scalps, pleading guilty to lying to officials. According to the story, what was then known as "Crossfire Hurricane" amongst the handful of agents involved, began months before election day.
The FBI, in an attempt to prevent leaks, kept details about what would later evolve into special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation from Justice Department political appointees.
Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote in the presidential election only to lose the electoral college count, this year used a series of media interviews with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to accuse the Trump campaign of colluding with Russian Federation to discredit her in key swing states with false news stories on Facebook.More news: House Speaker Paul Ryan moves to stop Republican revolt on immigration