Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of Trump-Russia links could last months, Comey tells committee
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 23, 2017,
Mar 23, 2017, 5:28
The U.S. intelligence service was evidently looking for proof of the Trump team's alleged ties to Russian Federation, an investigation that started four months before the election and remains active.
The top two lawmakers on the House intelligence committee say documents the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation delivered late last week offered no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower. After the campaign, Trump's lawyers sent Page at least two cease and desist letters. The account says it is managed by Trump's social media manager, Dan Scavino. There's no evidence to back up that suggestion, either.
At issue was an exchange that occurred as Comey was testifying on the House intelligence committee.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press that he's encouraged Trump to try to stay on message, adding: "I know I'm not the only one who's suggested maybe he'd be better off without daily tweets".
"The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components, the department has no information that supports those tweets", Comey said, noting that no United States president can unilaterally order a wiretap.
Last week, Mr Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer repeated claims by a Fox News analyst that the UK's GCHQ spy agency had helped Mr Obama wiretap Mr Trump. Trump campaign officials also met with Russian officials during the Republican National Convention.
But until Monday I didn't fully realize that partisan politics had trumped even national security.
Nunes, as the chairman, has a final say in how the investigation is run, but he has been coordinating closely with Schiff and, in some ways, the House investigation has emerged on two tracks - with Democrats and Republicans focusing nearly exclusively in their pet areas. Still, Trump's credibility and his standing as a reliable ally for his fellow Republicans in Congress are less assured.
The tweets amount to selective responses in light of a pair of statements Comey made Monday morning that could undercut the administration.
Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on Monday that the FBI is investigating "the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election - and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".
One law enforcement told the network that the information suggests people "connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready". "And we have looked carefully inside the FBI", Comey said.
I was glued to the screen, mostly because - seemingly in contrast to a Washington Post opinion piece - to me, this feels like history slowly unfolding.or unraveling, as the case may be.
With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets.
In fact, Trump uses such public skepticism to his advantage. "Because you can not have members of the intelligence community listening to the most private and highly classified information and then releasing that to The New York Times".
"Even in 1953, the height of McCarthyism, Gallup had 78 percent saying J. Edgar Hoover, Jr. was doing a good job and only 2 percent a poor job", said Harvard-Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.