News Ticker

What we learned from the hearing on the Trump campaign’s Russia ties

The FBI director James Comey confirmed that an ongoing investigation began in July while NSA’s Michael Rogers says baseless spying claim strained UK relations

By  in Washington / The Guardian /  Monday 20 March 2017

An investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s associates and Moscow had been under way for more than three months at the time of the US election and is continuing.

That is the fundamental fact that was confirmed by James Comey at Monday’s intelligence committee. The FBI director told the committee that the counter-intelligence investigation had started in late July.


Russia hearing: Comey says no information to confirm Trump’s wiretap claims – as it happened.  James Comey and Mike Rogers appear before the House intelligence panel while trump’s supreme court pick Neil Gorsuch has a confirmation hearing  READ MORE

He stressed the differences between that counter-intelligence investigation and the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for some classified material.

However, that distinction is unlikely to satisfy Democrats who remain outraged that the Clinton email inquiry was characterised by regular leaks and public pronouncements, including one by Comey 11 days before the election that new material had been found.

On the other hand, Comey’s confirmation of an extraordinary inquiry into collusion has only come more than four months after the election and nearly two months after Trump took office.

We learned that more than one member of Trump’s campaign has been under investigation and that the possibility is being explored that criminal acts were committed. We know the inquiry is ongoing and it is impossible to say when it will end. Counter-intelligence investigations are usually very long and often open-ended.

Very little time on Monday was spent on Trump’s repeated claims that he had been wiretapped by the Obama administration. It was brushed away perfunctorily by Comey and the NSA director, Michael Rogers, who also noted the damage done by the White House spokesman repeating a groundless allegation that the NSA had asked British spies to wiretap Trump on Obama’s behalf.

We learned how far the White House has gone to isolate itself by persevering in those claims and refusing to apologize to the UK for the GCHQ allegation. Rogers agreed that the allegations were not only baseless but had also been “frustrating for a key ally”.

No Republicans bothered to support the president over the allegations, and they had no interest in pursuing the point. Their tactics were to try to keep the focus of their questions on the leaks of classified information from the investigation, speculating on which Obama administration officials could have been responsible, and even raising the possibility of prosecuting journalists for publishing the leaks.

The Democrats tried to build a prosecution case out of the multiple contacts between Trump aides and Russian officials and the failure of the Trump campaign or the Trump White House to disclose them until forced to.

About tenthltr2u (1074 Articles)
A child of the 60's I often feel out of place in the world as it exist today. Too much excess, too much materialism, too few people who genuinely care or give a damn. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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