Per the New York Times, Trump’s own Department of Justice, in conjunction with the FBI, has opened up an investigation into Cambridge Analytica.
The since-closed data firm, funded by wealthy Republican donor Robert Mercer, worked for the Trump campaign prior to the election after being brought on by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in June 2016.
The firm “offered tools that it claimed could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. Its so-called psychographic modeling techniques, which were built in part with the data harvested from Facebook, underpinned Cambridge’s work for the Trump campaign in 2016,” according to the Times.
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According to prosecutors, potential witnesses have been interviewed in recent weeks and have confirmed that an investigation is underway into Cambridge Analytica and “associated U.S. persons.”
The firm has been in hot water since reports revealed that it had “harvested private data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles, and that it may have violated American election laws.” Adding to its troubles was the fact that their suspended chief executive, Alexander Nix, “suggested that the company had used seduction and bribery to entrap politicians and influence foreign elections.”
While the embattled company announced this month that it would shut down, a new firm called Emerdata was immediately set up in its stead. Robert Mercer, Alexander Nix, and other Trump-linked donors have already joined Emerdata as directors.
While this shady company and the people behind it have operated under an air of invincibility given Trump’s overt reticence to punish those who have helped him – regardless of the surrounding legality – the fact that these governmental entities are finally launching a probe into this corrupt institution is a step in the right direction.
Whether this investigation is legitimate or simply a red herring remains to be seen, but the renewed scrutiny is certainly an unwanted development for the already-on-the-ropes Trump.