Since 2017, the U.S. has been negotiating with Russians through a secret communication channel. The U.S. are negotiating for the return of stolen NSA documents from Russians thought to be tied to the country's security services. This operation has lead to the U.S. coming into contact with documents that purportedly show some relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling. It must be noted that there is a definite possibility that the documents received by U.S. intelligence are part of a Russian disinformation campaign meant to create more discord in the U.S. government.
Via the Intercept:
The operation has also inadvertently yielded a cache of documents purporting to relate to Donald Trump and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Recently, the Russians have been seeking to provide documents said to be related to Trump officials and Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, including some purloined FBI reports and banking records. The Russian [intermediary] told the American [intermediary] that he had first become aware of Russian efforts targeting U.S. political activities in late 2014 or early 2015, according to the documents reviewed by The Intercept.
Information regarding 2016 election was reportedly found in a tranche of documents received from the Russians. The documents spoke of the Trump campaign. The CIA rank-and-file have been reluctant to fully investigate this information out of fear of angering the President.
THE EXISTENCE OF the off-the-books communications channel, which has been a closely guarded secret within the U.S. intelligence community, has been highly controversial among those officials who know about it, and has begun to cause rifts between officials at the CIA and the NSA who have been involved with it at various times over the past year. The CIA, which is now headed by a Trump loyalist, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, has at times been reluctant to stay involved in the operation, apparently for fear of obtaining the Trump-related material offered by the Russians, according to sources close to the negotiations. Some people involved with the channel believe that the CIA has grown so heavily politicized under Pompeo that officials there have become fearful of taking possession of any materials that might be considered damaging to Trump. Many intelligence officials are reluctant to get involved with anything related to the Trump-Russia case for fear of blowback from Trump himself, who might seek revenge by firing senior officials and wreaking havoc on their agencies.
see entire article here