March 23, 2017

Comey: FBI investigating ties between Russia, Trump associates

20 March 2017, 11:49 | Rodolfo Wallace

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At a hearing in January, Comey refused to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation exploring possible connections between Trump associates and Russian Federation, consistent with the FBI's longstanding policy of not publicly discussing its work.

"I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI", Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on Monday (March 20).

The big news out of Monday's hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was that FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the Justice Department is actively investigating connections between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government.

He said the investigation would also conclude whether any crimes were committed.

Last week, Republican senators said they weren't getting prompt answers from Mr. Comey on whether his agency has investigated Mr. Trump.

If you made a bet on sports somehow making its way into Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearings with Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, you probably would have won a large sum of money. During his opening round of questioning at the hearing, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the committee, gave a chunk of his time to another Republican to grill Rogers about the damage caused by leaks.

"We have no evidence that supports them", Comey said.

Nunes added out of the gate that there was no physical wiretap of Trump Tower during the campaign - something he's said before - but that he hopes the campaign will find whether there was any other improper surveillance of Trump or his campaign. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said that if Comey reiterates there is no evidence to back such claims then Trump has set himself up for impeachment.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation tried to help Trump by hacking leading Democrats' emails.

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Yet any lack of detail from Comey will likely be contrasted with public comments he made previous year when closing out an investigation into Clinton's email practices and then, shortly before Election Day, announcing that the probe would be revived following the discovery of additional emails.

"I think "wiretapping" to Donald Trump probably meant spying". "I can promise you we will follow the facts wherever they lead", he said.

The White House is distancing itself from two former senior members of Donald Trump's team, amid an FBI investigation into possible connections between Trump "associates" and Russian Federation.

Comey refuted President Trump's tweets claiming he was wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama, stating, "I have no information that supports those tweets".

In addition to the public hearings, the House and Senate committees are also reviewing documents and receiving closed-door briefings.

But the Democrats may be tempted to press the matter and force the intelligence officials to confirm publicly that no such surveillance of the Trump campaign took place.

Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, stepped down after it was learned Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his discussions with a Russian ambassador to the U.S.

In an extraordinary 17-minute statement, Representative Adam Schiff laid out a timeline of meetings between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election season.

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