Comey and Rogers say there’s smoke and suggest there’s fire. Here’s what we know about the investigation into Russia.
On Monday, March 20, 2017, FBI Director, James Comey, and NSA Director, Adm. Mike Rogers, testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee. For more than five hours, the committee, charged with leading the investigative front on Russian interference into the election, also wanted answers on the accusations of Obama wiretapping Trump before the election.
Here’s what we now know:
- The F.B.I. is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Last year, the Democratic National Committee was hacked. Afterwards, WikiLeaks released those emails through their website. The FBI later confirmed that it was Russian hacking. The investigation is ongoing and expected to continue for several more months.
- Trump’s campaign is being investigated because of Russian ties.
“Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much,” Comey said.
The list of Trump campaign members that have had questionable connections to Russia, include: Campaign Manager Paul Manafort (resigned), National Security Adviser Mike Flynn (resigned after lying to Vice President Pence, labeled a security risk by the DOJ for Russian blackmail), son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (which he omitted, or possibly lied about, in his testimony), among many others.
- There is no evidence Obama wiretapped Trump, despite President’s claims.
We now know that Russian influence is being investigated, and more importantly, the Trump campaign and its ties to the American adversary, because of the House’s hearing.
But the White House is still unwilling to accept the investigation and reasoning behind it. Trump tweeted before the hearing, denying the investigation is real.
The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2017
Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, added more at a Monday press briefing.
“Following this testimony it’s clear nothing has changed…Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there’s no evidence of a Trump/Russia collusion.”
Comey refutes this with his own statement.
“Please don’t draw any conclusions from the fact that I may not be able to comment on certain topics. I know speculating is part of human nature, but it really isn’t fair to draw conclusions simply because I say that I can’t comment.”
New information has come out suggesting that some Trump campaign members have direct ties to Russia and WikiLeaks email release. Paul Manafort now could be facing felony charges for not disclosing working for a foreign government.
Each week that passes, there’s a new development around the Russian ties. GOP members, like Arizona Sen. John McCain, are being more vocal.
“It’s a bizarre situation, and what I think, the reason why I’m calling for this select committee or a special committee, is I think that this back-and-forth and what the American people have found out so far that no longer does the Congress have credibility to handle this alone.”