Comey's probe, Trump's impeachment, and slapping Russia | Moran

Nick Mcbride
March 21, 2017

The head of the FBI publicly challenged US President Donald Trump on Monday, denying the Republican's claim that former president Barack Obama wiretapped his 2016 election campaign and confirming his agency had launched a criminal investigation into any collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation. "The Department of Justice has asked me to share that the information is the same for the department and all its components".

A short time later, ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff read the tweet to FBI Director James Comey who was testifying, along with Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency. "Because it is an open, ongoing investigation, and is classified, I can not say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining", Comey continued.

"Our inability to predict the Putin regime's plans and intentions", said Nunes, "is the biggest intelligence failure since 9/11".

Comey is the latest government official to reject Trump's claims, made without any evidence, that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, his campaign headquarters.

The intelligence committee's chair, Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican, opened the hearing by condemning Russia's cyber and military aggressiveness.

"We know there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower".

Less conspiratorially-minded outlets mostly took Comey at his word when he said there was no evidence of President Obama wiretapping Trump.

The extraordinary revelation, and the first public confirmation of an investigation that began last summer, came at the outset of Comey's opening statement in a congressional hearing examining Russian meddling and possible connections between Moscow and Trump's campaign.

As Comey put it in his prepared remarks, the bureau is looking into "whether there was any coordination between the [Trump] campaign and Russia's efforts" to interfere in the 2016 election.

Donald Trump has falsely represented the evidence given by FBI Director James Comey during a hearing into Russia's interference in the 2016 USA election.

"This is one of those circumstances", he said.

"There is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion and there is NO EVIDENCE of a Trump-Russia scandal", a senior administration official said in a written statement.

Flynn helped Trump in the campaign, became national security adviser at the start of Trump's presidency and was sacked after he was found to have misled senior members of the administration about his contacts with Russia's top diplomat to the U.S.

We should note, as a caveat, that lawmakers from either side of the aisle said it was important both to investigate Russia's activities and to protect classified data. At the very least, it means Mr. Trump will not soon escape from under the cloud of suspicion hovering over him and his campaign team.

Ahead of the congressional hearing, Trump tweeted: "James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia, This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!"

"We said the United States intelligence community does not do analysis or reporting on the USA political process", NSA director Michael Rogers confirmed. Mr Trump had already denounced the events as politically motivated and said the Democrats have pushed the story of Russia's alleged involvement as "an excuse for running a bad campaign".

Trump is in the White House and Hillary Clinton, despite winning the popular vote that matters nothing in an Electoral College system, has since had fewer public appearances than Punxsutawney Phil.

The report said the Russian campaign aimed to use computer hacks, leaks, and other methods to undermine faith in the USA electoral system and denigrate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Other reports by VgToday

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