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FBI Director Briefs Senators On Investigation of Russia’s Electoral Interference

by Countable | 3.20.17

FBI Director James Comey visited Capitol Hill on Friday to brief members of the Senate Intelligence Committee after allegations surrounding communications between Trump aides and Russian officials surfaced. His visit capped off a week that began with the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn over his contact with Russia’s ambassador following President Donald Trump’s electoral triumph.

Coming out of the meeting, senators on both sides of the aisle expressed optimism that their investigation would get the assistance it needs from the FBI, which will hopefully come as a relief to those concerned that the investigation would become a whitewash. The Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), said that he didn’t want "this to devolve into a partisan food fight that doesn’t serve the public purpose," underscoring that it’s “so important that we get it right.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took to Twitter to echo that sentiment:

House investigations pick up steam

In Congress’s lower chamber, the House Intelligence Committee is continuing with its investigation of classified information leaked by members of the intelligence community. The sequence of events leading up to Flynn’s resignation began with the leak of a wiretapped call Flynn had with Russia’s ambassador following the election. The Trump administration contends that Flynn did nothing illegal, and that his resignation was instead accepted because he misinformed Vice President Pence and other White House officials about the nature of the conversation.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell’s proposal to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate Russia’s electoral meddling gained the backing of its first Republican on Friday, as Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) signed on to Swalwell’s Protecting Our Democracy Act as a cosponsor.

The commission would be composed of 12 nationally-recognized experts who specialize in the fields of intelligence, cybersecurity, elections, and foreign affairs who would be appointed by congressional leadership. It would be structured in a similar manner to the 9/11 Commission, in that it would have the ability to interview witnesses, issue subpoenas, and then release a report to Congress and the president once the investigation is complete.

Meanwhile, the resolution of inquiry submitted to the Justice Department by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) seeking information about connections between Trump and his associates to Russia and potential conflicts of interest is still awaiting committee action. Nadler submitted the resolution on February 8, and the House Judiciary Committee has 14 legislative work days from then to consider it or else Nadler can bring it to the House floor for a vote. Based on the House’s current schedule, the earliest that could occur is March 15.

You can tell your reps how you think an investigation of Russia’s alleged meddling should proceed using the "Take Action" button.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Obama White House / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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  • John
    02/20/2017
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    Not sure that Comey is able to keep his biases in check; otherwise, agree with bipartisan independent investigation.

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  • Cris-Gato
    02/20/2017
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    James Comey should not be heading the FBI let alone this investigation. He has proven that he is willing to sacrifice duty over party affiliation. Which directly impacts his ability to perform his job as a implementer of justice.

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  • Alan
    02/20/2017
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    Please be sure we understand what really happened during and after the election with Russia .

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  • Alba
    02/23/2017
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    As a Republican I remember when we spent millions of dollars, appointed a special prosecutor, and wasted a whole lot of time investing Bill Clinton's affair. WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH IS THERE NOT A PROPORTIONATE RESPONSE HERE? This is arguably one of the greatest threats that our country's democracy has ever faced and you all are sitting around doing nothing. The only conclusions that I can draw are 1. You're complicit 2. Power trumps principle. Both disgust me. At what point do we decide that this has crossed a bridge too far and decide that action needs to be taken? Because I know that YOU, the congress, need to act.

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  • Suzie
    02/20/2017
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    It's imperative we have a full and thorough non-partisan investigation. A foreign power tampering with a US election is the biggest issue facing all of us in this country.

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  • Joe
    02/19/2017
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    The people demand an impartial and independent review of Russia's interference and ties to the election, Trump, Ryan, and McConnell. Enough is enough. Put country over party for once.

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  • Julie
    02/20/2017
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    A full non partisan independent investigation of Russian involvement in the presidential election is of upmost importance. We need to know the extent of anyone working for Trump or Trump himself and the level of involvement with Russia to not only sway the election but also to know of the profiteering that will be going on due to business relations! This is a disgusting act that if we excuse away will be the end of government of the people, for the people, by the people, because you senators have sold us out!

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  • Demitri
    02/20/2017
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    Comey has proven himself to be a political tool. Why contact between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence wasn't deemed important enough to be disclosed before the election but discovery of a laptop, that wasn't even Clinton's, is baffling.

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  • Tyler
    02/19/2017
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    It's plain and simple: 1) Full investigations must be held into General Flynn's contact with Russian officials during after the Election. 2) Full investigations must be held into the Trump campaigns ties AND contact with Russian officials during the campaign. 3) Full investigations must be held regarding what knowledge Trump had of any contact between his staff during the campaign AND after the Election. 4) Investigations must be carried out in both the Senate and House committees. 5) Jeff Sessions must recuse himself from all investigations regarding Russia. Period.

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  • Richard
    02/23/2017
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    We spent years and many millions investigating Bill Clinton over an affair. Also had a special prosecutor. Yet we can't even agree on the need for an investigation let alone an independent one. Do people get the seriousness of having a President who may have betrayed his own country, at least as far as getting elected and maybe worse. There is more then enough unanswered questions about the Presidents conduct during the campaign to justify an investigation. The only thing delaying or stopping one is the GOP ,the voters should act accordingly in the midterms.

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  • Meeka
    02/20/2017
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    James Comey should not be heading the FBI let alone this investigation. He has proven that he is willing to sacrifice duty over party affiliation. Which directly impacts his ability to perform his job as a implementer of justice.

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  • Dena
    02/20/2017
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    James Comey should not be heading the FBI let alone this investigation. He has proven that he is willing to sacrifice duty over party affiliation. Which directly impacts his ability to perform his job as a implementer of justice.

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  • NATNATPAW
    02/22/2017
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    Last year, the intelligence community concluded that Russia deliberately leaked documents from Democratic politicians to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy and/or the integrity of American democracy. Since then, the Trump administration has faced growing scrutiny around its ties to the Russian government. In mid-February, national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned after admitting he'd lied about conversations he'd had with the Russian ambassador to the US before Trump's inauguration. The New York Times also reported that several of Trump's campaign staff communicated with Russia throughout the election. Despite the mounting evidence of Russia's close partnership with the Trump administration, investigations of the Trump-Russia connection are currently dependent on partisan congressional committees. House Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes have continually resisted calls for a thorough investigation of Russian electoral interference. To ensure an independent investigation of the Trump-Russia connection, 198 House Democrats and one House Republican are co-sponsoring HR 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act. The bill would establish an independent, 12-member commission to fully examine Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Our nation's electoral integrity is not a partisan issue. House representatives from both sides of the aisle must support an independent investigation of Russia's electoral interference.

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  • Laurie
    02/20/2017
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    I agree that Comey himself is suspect after his own interference with the election. He should recuse himself.

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  • Pam
    02/19/2017
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    We need an investigation as the American people have grave concerns about the connection between trump and Russia and interference in the election and beyond.

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  • LauraK.
    02/19/2017
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    We the People absolutely demand an exhaustive investigation into every aspect of the Russian interference in our 2016 election, including the compromising dossier detailing Trump's misbehavior while in Russia. Something smells very rotten about all of this and if our intellectually disadvantaged President is being unduly influenced by a clearly far more intelligent and cunning adversary in the Kremlin, the American people deserve to know so that we may insist that our legislative and judicial branches take appropriate action. An exhaustive investigation, conducted with all due diligence and urgency!

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  • Sommer
    02/19/2017
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    Please support investigation into Trump's Administration's connection to Russia. Please support an independent investigation and a bi-partisan committee in the House and Senate. Don't allow any investigation to be a smokescreen, they must be independent of party lines.

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  • Dan
    02/19/2017
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    The level of magnitude that this scandal is producing is grossly under-reported. Our election system was befouled with tampering! The National Security Advisor was in the middle of it, and we need to know whose orders he was following! What was discussed with the Russian Ambassador and when? This is the most frightening scandal we have ever seen in our lifetime. Comey's judgement has already proven to be shaky, so an independent investigator should be brought in.

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  • Josh
    02/19/2017
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    Investigation is a no brainer. It is our right to know if we were manipulated by the current administration during the election.

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  • Mike
    02/19/2017
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    For the love of country someone has to begin holding this lunatic administration accountable. I reside in a red state and this entire situation is beyond embarrassing, its unpatriotic! Show some courage and place country above party affiliations. If you don't history will not be very kind to you. We don't all drink the Trump kool aid!

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