Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Rep. Schiff previews Federal Bureau of Investigation director's House hearing on Russian Federation probe

Rep. Schiff previews Federal Bureau of Investigation director's House hearing on Russian Federation probe

President Trump has continued to stand by the unsubstantiated claims, including while meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday.

FBI Director James Comey says the FBI and Justice Department have no information to substantiate President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him before the election. "I don't think we've ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election than we've seen in this case". There is no way for me to give you a timetable.

Earlier in the hearing, the chairman of the committee contradicted an earlier assertion from Mr Trump by saying that there had been no wiretapping of Trump Tower.

Comey told Congress that the FBI launched its investigation into Russian meddling in the USA elections almost nine months ago. A new Reuters investigation reveals dozens of Russian elites have invested almost $100 million in seven Trump-branded luxury buildings in Florida. Trump said, referring to statements made two weeks ago by the former director of national intelligence during the Obama years.

However, representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican whose committee is one of several investigating, said that other forms of surveillance of Mr Trump and his associates have not been ruled out.

Earlier at the hearing, he confirmed publicly for the first time that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. "Must find leaker now!"

Trump also tweeted that the "real story" is the leaking of classified information. I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. Officials investigating the matter have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats' computers in a bid to help Trump's election bid. "But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated, and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt USA persons that they have employed in Europe and elsewhere".

Nunes said: "For the first time the American people, and all the political parties now, are paying attention to the threat that Russian Federation poses".

The Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled a similar hearing for later in the month.

His appearances on Capitol Hill since then have occurred in classified settings, and he has made no public statements connected to the Trump campaign or Russian Federation. He said he can not provide details about the investigation.

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