ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2017

House intelligence panel chairman says there was no wiretap on Trump Tower

20 March 2017, 07:13 | Kelvin Horton

US Lawmaker: 'No Evidence Of Collusion' Between Trump Campaign, Russia

Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

"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", he stated.

Typically, Comey continued, the F.B.I. doesn't "confirm the existence of ongoing investigations", though he argued that revealing the investigation into ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign is in the public interest. Trump said in a tweet, trashing the Democratic party's allegations about Russian meddling in the November 8 polls that brought the real-estate tycoon to power.

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. "There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that's where we begin the investigation", Schiff said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

US President Donald Trump today accused the Democratic party of making up allegations about his campaign's links with Russia and the Russian interference in the presidential poll, saying federal investigators should now instead probe the media leaks of classified information. It is no crime for Trump or his associates to have ties to Russian Federation, he added.

Earlier, Comey also confirmed for the first time that the F.B.I.is indeed investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

A separate tweet referenced James Clapper, the director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama, who has said that Trump's allegation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower is false.

Comey is testifying at the hearing, along with National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers.

Nunes said Trump could be referring to new information about whether intelligence officials "unmasked", or identified, USA citizens who were captured speaking with foreign officials who are under routine surveillance - a process governed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

In his opening statement, Schiff said: "We will never know whether the Russian intervention was determinative in such a close election".

"James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence POTUS (President of the United States) colluded with Russian Federation". "As with any counterintelligence investigation", he added, "this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed". "This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it".

Comey confirmed on Monday that the bureau and the DOJ have briefed the Intelligence Committee in a classified setting on details of the investigation.

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.

"For a lot of Americans this is the first time to really tune in to exactly what the Russians did and what the investigation involves, and I'd like to walk through with both directors what do we know about the Russian operation?"

"Last summer, at the height of a bitterly contested and hugely consequential Presidential campaign, a foreign, adversarial power intervened to weaken our democracy, and to influence the outcome for one candidate and against the other", Schiff said in his statement.

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