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FBI investigating Clinton Foundation

Last Updated Jan 5, 2018 7:03 PM EST

The FBI is conducting an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and whether any donations made to the foundation are tied to actions carried out by the U.S. government, CBS News' Andres Triay has confirmed. 

The investigation is not new and has been underway for at least a few months, and it is separate from the investigation the FBI led on the private email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state. 

"We don't confirm or deny ongoing investigations," the DOJ told CBS News in a request for comment. 

President Trump has repeatedly urged the Justice Department to take a look at the Clintons, sometimes publicly chastising the DOJ and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter. 

Asked about the existence of the Clinton Foundation probe on "Fox and Friends" Friday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called it "good news."

"I think that's good news," Sanders said. "Certainly I think there have been a lot of things that give us cause for concern. I think it's a great thing that it's being looked at. And we'll have to wait and see what happens. but there's certainly been a lot of information out there that I think gives all of us cause for concern and I think it's important that they are finally taking a look at it and we'll see what comes from it."

The Clinton Foundation's chief communications officer, Craig Minassian, issued a statement about the investigation.

"Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time these allegations have been proven false," he wrote. "None of this has made us waver in our mission to help people."

Nick Merrill, spokesperson for Hillary Clinton, called the probe a "sham."

"Let's call this what it is: A sham," Merrill said in a statement. "This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a long-debunked project spearheaded by Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump's bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently. The goal is to distract from the indictments, guilty pleas, and accusations of treason from Trump's own people at the expense of our justice system's integrity. It's disgraceful, and should be concerning to all Americans."

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a key critic of the Clintons in Congress, said on Fox News Friday he thought the investigation was prompted, at least in part, by pressure from him, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other conservatives in Congress. 

"I would argue that is all happening because we have been on them and Chairman Nunes has been on them to do their job," Jordan said, adding that this is a "come to Jesus" moment for the DOJ.

CBS News' Andres Triay contributed to this report. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.