The former officials claimed their goals in doing this were to ensure that it would never again happen in future American or European elections and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
According to three of these officials the information that was spread "across the government" for safekeeping was amassed from allies, including the British and the Dutch who had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials close to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin and associates of Donald Trump.
Other information came from American intelligence agencies which had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.
Eric Schultz, a spokesman for Mr. Obama said...
“This situation was serious, as is evident by President Obama’s call for a review — and as is evident by the United States response. When the intelligence community does that type of comprehensive review, it is standard practice that a significant amount of information would be compiled and documented.”
Officials claimed their anxiety to preserve the information stemmed from the knowlege knew the information could not be kept from the new president or his top advisers and believed they would destroy the collected data.
The disclosures about the effort to safeguard the information comes as the F.B.I. is conducting a wide-ranging counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and it's alleged links between Mr. Trump and his associates and the House and Senate intelligence committees own investigations as well.
In addition there is the new questions that were raised about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s ties to the Russians as former senior American official Sessions lied under oath about tho meetings he had with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak. The same man who now infamously carried on a covert relationship with Trump's former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn