FBI DIRECTOR CONFIRMS INVESTIGATION INTO TRUMP-RUSSIA TIES IN TESTIMONY BEFORE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

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By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that his agency is investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign.  Comey also made clear that there is no evidence to support President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped during the campaign.

In his opening statement to the committee, Comey said of the FBI investigation, “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.”

Trump sent tweets before the hearing began claiming allegations of election interference by Russia was “fake news” pushed forward by Democrats, even though the Intelligence Committee hearing was bipartisan.

There was, however, a distinct partisan difference in the tone of questions asks. Republican Senators focused on how to crack down on leaks of classified information, and seemed unconcerned with finding out whether Russia may have influenced the election or whether Trump operatives may have violated criminal laws.

Democrats asked pointed questions on alleged actions by specific individuals such as Michael Flynn, the National Security Director who resigned after revelations that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and hid secret meetings with Russia’s ambassador. 

Last week, new disclosures revealed that Flynn was paid $35,000 by Russian Times, Russia’s official propaganda outlet, an apparent violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause that prohibits any public official from accepting money from a foreign government or a company controlled or funded by a foreign government.

Administration officials have tried to spin Comey’s testimony to suggest that no evidence of collusion has been found between Trump’s inner circle and Russia. But in fact, it is FBI policy not to comment on any findings during an investigation.

The agency normally will neither confirm nor deny that an investigation is ongoing, but in this case, obtained special permission from the Justice Department to disclose that an investigation is ongoing.

Comey also confirmed that the FBI believed it was clear that Russia’s aim was to prevent former Secretary of State Clinton from winning the November election, and that Russia actively sought to help Trump win the presidency.

Comments

(GOP Lawmaker) Says President Trump owes Obama an Apology

A report in TheHill says Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole is calling for President Trump to apologize to former President Obama for accusing him of "wiretapping" Trump Tower without evidence. While Trump is at it, he should also apologize to Obama for being behind the "Birther" movement.

What do you think, Dennis?

I think the Honorable Tom Cole is behind the news curve, with the Obama wiretaps on the Trump team pre-election. Let's stay tuned. The latest: The House Majority Leader and the House Intel Chairman are going to brief the President. Why?. . .In general, we know that Trump is anti-establishment so the "conservatives" resent him. We know that. It's not news. . . .Bottom line: Better than Hillary.

Constitution emolument strictures haven't apply to the Clintons.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was given a half-million dollars worth of diamond and ruby jewelry by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.. Officials at the U.S. General Services Administration said the gifts were accepted to avoid awkward moments. The "Clinton Foundation" received between $10 to $25 million after Hillary became Secretary of State, with some donations coming as recently as 2014 when Clinton prepared her run for the presidency. An Abu Dhabi oil company put as much as $500,000 into President Bill Clinton’s pockets via a speaking fee he got in Scotland and was rewarded with millions in US taxpayer dollars (via USAID) as reported here.

Here's an argument you could make, MR,

to go along with that flattering pic of Comey. . .from Juan Cole (a Dem). . ."It is Comey who should be Investigated . . .For reasons that no one can fathom, none of the Democrats on the committee bothered to ask Comey about his own out-sized role in the election. He reported to Congress that he was investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server and combing through her emails, attempting to discover whether she had been careless with classified material. He thereby cast a pall on her integrity that certainly had more public effect than anything the Russians may have done. It was an egregiously unfair announcement. I would argue that no such investigation should have been launched publicly of a major candidate in an election year. There was not actually anything suspicious about a private server. As for the charge that her personal server was more at risk of being hacked than a government one, this is not true in any way that matters. Government servers are hacked all the time. The private information on 4 million government employees was hacked, allegedly by the People’s Republic of China. Even the CIA servers have been hacked. Yet Comey was carrying on two investigations, not one. He was also investigating the Trump circle for their Russia ties. . . .But he did not let the public know about that investigation last summer or fall."

Trump's wiretapping surveillance claim understandably

came from an article regarding "intercepted communications" in the NY Times Jan 20, here. "WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. . ."

This whole FBI kerfuffle is meant to be a distraction

from the Podesta/Brazile/WashingtonPost activities last year which acted against the democratic process, in promoting Hillary over Bernie. It didn't work, and the establishment is sore. Losers.

What a joke! . .Cummings said Flynn's acceptance of payments

from RT violated the emoluments provision of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits retired military officers from accepting gifts from foreign powers. . . .pure BS. . .Flynn was a private citizen at the time he received payment for speaking to RT. . . .The US Constitution: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.". . .The payment was by a news source, RT . . .Flynn was fired later by President Trump soon after he was appointed.

RT is funded and backed by the Russian government.

I understand that the emoluments clause bans officials from receiving money from governments and from any other entity backed/supported by a foreign government, which would include RT.  Retured mlitary officers are among those banned.

Flynn was a retired military officer when he took $35,000 from RT, which he knew was the Russian  official propaganda network. According to the Washington Post, "The Defense Department has warned retired officers against accepting “indirect payments, including from pass-through companies in the United States,” in retirement, the congressional letter said."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-ask-pentagon-to-explai... 

Cummings seems to be accurate on that point.

 

 

how about NO money from

how about NO money from foreign governments to any former government official regardless of the situation or role? yes this is about russia, but east county times never seemed to have an issue with chicom and arab oil money going to the clintons in the 90's and since.
comey is not to be believed, he had the nerve to state he knew putin personally didn't like hillary, total hogwash and if so prove it. these hearings are a sham, to destroy the Trump presidency and to push the deep state. comey is an enemy of the truth and the Constitution

"Retired mlitary officers are among those banned" . . .No,

they are not.. . ."the Pentagon has advised retiring officers that because they can be recalled to military service, they may be subject to the Constitution’s emoluments clause" . . .Well, that's baloney. They are not "any Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under the US." . . .and quoting the "ethics adviser to President Barack Obama" doesn't make it so. . .I'm retired military and may be called some day, am I blocked from speaking to Russians also? . . .No. That's silly. So Cummings is dead wrong.