FBI Director James Comey will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday at a closely watched hearing.
It is not clear how much new information will emerge Monday, and the hearing's open setting unquestionably puts Comey in a hard situation if he's asked to discuss an ongoing investigation tied to the campaign of the president. 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.
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.
He went on to say that the "real story" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Congress should be looking into is the leaking of classified information.
"Mr. Putin would like people who like him", Comey said of Russian President Vladimir Putin's feeling toward Trump.
Meanwhile, Republicans have sought to focus on leaks of classified information on the issue to the media, as well as Trump's counter-allegation that Obama ordered surveillance on his Trump Tower in NY.
"We're expecting directors Comey and Rogers to shed light on Russia's active measures undertaken during the 2016 election campaign, the USA government's response, the compilation of the Intelligence Community's January 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.
But as Radar readers know, Comey already opposed Trump's claim last month, asking the Justice Department to reject it. James Clapper took a similar stance, telling NBC that "there was no such wiretap activity" against Trump or his campaign. "Must find leaker now!" DNI Clapper "right" to say no evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump Campaign.
USA intelligence agencies in January took the extraordinary step of stating publicly that they had concluded that hackers working for Russian Federation under Putin's direction broke into the email accounts of senior Democrats and released embarrassing documents to damage Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed", he said.
Meanwhile, Trump launched a series of tweets Monday morning, perhaps in an effort to distract from Comey's testimony, which will likely debunking allegations, according to reports. But the fact that there's evidence to suggest possible collusion between the president's campaign and a foreign enemy reinforces the need for a special prosecutor to oversee such an investigation.
Another key focus will be the contacts between Michael Flynn, Trump's sacked national security advisor, and Moscow's ambassador in Washington last December.
A short time later, a Fox News anchor said, "Fox News can not confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary".
Trump tried to go on offense in the middle of the hearing, launching a series of tweets from his official White House account, including one that appeared to blame the Obama administration for leaking details of Flynn's contacts with the Russian envoy.
Attorney General Sessions held two meetings with the Russian ambassador previous year, despite testimony before a Senate committee during his confirmation hearing that he had no communications with the Russians.
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