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Washington - Lawmakers Seek FBI, NSA Answers On Trump, Russia At Rare Public Hearing

Published on: March 20, 2017 07:50 AM
By: Reuters
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FILE - FBI Director James Comey speaks during a ceremony to open the new FBI Boston Field Office in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S., March 7, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian SnyderFILE - FBI Director James Comey speaks during a ceremony to open the new FBI Boston Field Office in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S., March 7, 2017.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Washington - The directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency will break their public silence on Monday about their investigations into possible links between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign at a rare open congressional intelligence committee hearing.

Representatives Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Adam Schiff, the panel’s top Democrat, have called FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to testify as part of their committee’s probe into allegations that Russia meddled in U.S. elections.

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Other congressional committees also are investigating the matter, mostly behind closed doors. But amid a furor over whether Moscow tried to influence the 2016 presidential race on Trump’s behalf, lawmakers said they would make public as much of their probes as possible.

Russia denies attempting to influence the election.

Comey and Rogers are not expected to reveal much in public about the probes, which include information that is classified Top Secret and also separated into different compartments, each of which requires a separate clearance.

But the hearing could become heated as Republicans balance support for their party’s leaders and Democrats vent frustration over Republican congressional leaders’ refusal to appoint a special prosecutor or select committee to investigate.

Trump fired his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, last month after he failed to disclose contacts with Russia’s ambassador before Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Last week, new information surfaced about more than $65,000 that Flynn was paid in 2015 by companies with links to Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator, recused himself from investigating the matter after it was revealed that he did not answer accurately when he was asked during his confirmation hearing about his contacts with Russian officials during the election. He failed to disclose that, as senator, he had met with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

GROWING FRUSTRATION

Both Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress said they were frustrated by what they consider the intelligence community’s failure to provide enough information about any contacts with Russia, as well as Trump’s claim, made without evidence, that his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.

Schiff said he expected Comey to make clear at Monday’s hearing that the allegation was unfounded.

“I hope that we can put an end to this wild goose chase because what the president said was just patently false,” Schiff said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Nunes said on “Fox News Sunday” that he was not aware of any warrant that would have allowed such a wiretap.

Members of both parties have threatened to subpoena administration officials or delay confirmation hearings for Trump’s nominees until their requests for information are answered.

Many Democrats also are deeply unhappy with Comey for his handling of an inquiry into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, especially issuing statements about it shortly before Election Day.

When he was asked what the committee expects from the hearing, Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, gave a substantial list.

“We’re expecting directors Comey and Rogers to shed light on Russia’s active measures undertaken during the 2016 election campaign, the U.S. government’s response, the compilation of the Intelligence Community’s Jan. 6 report on these events, and on related questions concerned possible surveillance on Trump campaign associates and on possible leaks of classified information,” he said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced a public hearing for March 30. The witness list, titled “Disinformation: A Primer on Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaign,” does not yet include any government officials.

The House committee will hold a second public hearing on March 28 with former U.S. officials, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 20, 2017 at 08:48 AM georgeg Says:

Wikipedia defines "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence". So I do have to wonder how these accusations about Russia in the 21st century are any different than those in the 1950's? Because in the 1950's anyone suspected of "Communist" (that means Russian) sympathies was targeted. In the 21st century, only Republicans are targeted. That makes it so much better now.

2

 Mar 20, 2017 at 10:06 AM Teddybear Says:

Lock up Hillary and everything will be ok , maybe Obama will visit her and stay there as well

3

 Mar 20, 2017 at 10:22 AM Anonymous Says:

The embodiment of McCarthy is the President's alter ego Bannon. The President is paranoid. Republicans ,those in power will destroy this country

4

 Mar 20, 2017 at 10:26 AM Yuhvus Says:

Reply to #1  
georgeg Says:

Wikipedia defines "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence". So I do have to wonder how these accusations about Russia in the 21st century are any different than those in the 1950's? Because in the 1950's anyone suspected of "Communist" (that means Russian) sympathies was targeted. In the 21st century, only Republicans are targeted. That makes it so much better now.

Did you read your rant before you posted?

5

 Mar 20, 2017 at 01:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
georgeg Says:

Wikipedia defines "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence". So I do have to wonder how these accusations about Russia in the 21st century are any different than those in the 1950's? Because in the 1950's anyone suspected of "Communist" (that means Russian) sympathies was targeted. In the 21st century, only Republicans are targeted. That makes it so much better now.

The Congress is controlled by Republicans. If they decide to Impeach the POTUS you can went all you want. It doesn't count. Only Congressman and Senators vote for Impeachment. The Neo-Nazis, White Supermacist etc who voted for this Meshugeneh dont count. Thank Hashem for Democracy in this country.

6

 Mar 20, 2017 at 01:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
georgeg Says:

Wikipedia defines "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence". So I do have to wonder how these accusations about Russia in the 21st century are any different than those in the 1950's? Because in the 1950's anyone suspected of "Communist" (that means Russian) sympathies was targeted. In the 21st century, only Republicans are targeted. That makes it so much better now.

If the Republican Congress wont impeach him, in less than 2 years the Democrats will take over just like they did 8 years ago. With 31% rating he will be gone one way or another. There is a reason the Republican Congress is investigating him. They want to save themselves. They can read the Polls and yes All Polls were pretty accurate. CNN projected Hillary by 5% she won by 3% that's pretty close, Fox Gallup was even closer. It makes no difference if his rating today is 31% or maybe 33% (Or maybe 29%)

7

 Mar 20, 2017 at 04:08 PM Anonymous Says:

He is the epitomy of low life lying individual who is a billionaire and full of vanity. The darling of the frum diaper brigade .married thrice and his pleasure grabbing female genitalia

8

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