James Comey testifies before Senate panel on Russia investigation
Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into the agency’s Russia “collusion” probe during the 2016 election.
Comey will appear before the panel chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has accused the FBI of obtaining illegal secret warrants using flawed information and unsubstantiated claims in a now-debunked dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“The day of reckoning is upon us when it comes to Crossfire Hurricane,” the South Carolina Republican said in a Fox News interview earlier this month, referring to the name of the collusion probe.
The Justice Department inspector general last year found “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in documents submitted by the FBI to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page.
As part of its investigation, Graham said the committee is seeking the testimony of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was fired after it was revealed he and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, exchanged text messages critical of Trump, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Comey’s testimony comes a day after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday informed Graham of an allegation that Hillary Clinton ordered “a campaign plan to stir up a scandal” by linking Trump to Russia in 2016 — and that former President Barack Obama was aware.
Ratcliffe said in his letter to Graham that Clinton wanted to taint Trump by connecting him to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
But Ratcliffe added that the US intelligence community couldn’t corroborate the claim that Clinton was involved and said the information was gleaned from “Russian intelligence analysis” that could have been an “exaggeration or fabrication.”
The FBI launched its investigation into Russian collusion in July 2016.
Trump fired Comey, who was then leading the Russian probe, in May 2017.
Days later Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, was named special counsel to take over the investigation.
His probe concluded that there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
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