FBI investigating Trump campaign's Russia links, says no info supports Trump's wiretapping claims

At a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that the FBI had launched an investigation into Russian efforts to influence 2016's presidential election and into links and coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government.

"Because it is classified, I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are investigating," he told the committee, admitting that this would only make the disclosure frustrating. "... we will follow the facts wherever they lead."

He also rebutted the suggestion, presented by Trump on Twitter and elsewhere, that former president Barack Obama wiretapped Trump tower during the election campaign.

"I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," said Comey.

"No individual in the United States can direct surveillance of another individual," he said in response to a question about whether the President had the statutory power to do so. "...No president could."

Asked whether he'd seen any evidence of British involvement in the alleged wiretapping, NSA director Michael Rogers, also attending the hearing, denied it unequivocally.

"That would be expressly against the construct of the Five Eyes agreement," he said, referring to the intelligence-sharing agreement between major western powers in which the US and UK are partners.

Prompted, he agreed with the British that that it was a "ridiculous" suggestion, adding that "it frustrates a key ally of ours."

The hearing is currently underway.

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FBI clears Clinton: "new" emails were duplicates, irrelevant

The FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton over the "new" emails found on disgraced Democratic politician Anthony Weiner's seized computer. The emails, which the FBI thought may be relevant to an earlier investigation of Clinton's inappropriate use of a private email server while in office, turned out to be mostly duplicates of those already covered by the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Sunday the agency hasn't changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.

"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July," Comey wrote in the new letter to congressional committee chairmen. Comey dropped a bombshell on the presidential race last month when he sent a letter to Congress saying the FBI had discovered emails in a separate investigation that could be connected to the now-closed probe of whether Clinton mishandled classified information. The move infuriated Democrats and emboldened Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The announcement brings to an end a week of political chaos triggered by Comey's vague letter insinuating—at least to Republicans and the media—that Clinton once again risked legal sanction over the personal email account. Comey, in an oddly Comey-centered press event earlier this summer, then described the private email server as inappropriate but not something worthy of indictment.

In the days that followed Comey's letter to congress, sent barely two weeks before election day, even Clinton's foes found themselves discomfited by the FBI's exquisitely-timed involvement in domestic politics. Trump, though, exalted as polls tightened: though Clinton still leads, the possibility of a landslide (or indeed a Democrat Senate) is now deemed less likely by poll trackers. Read the rest

President Obama slams FBI's Comey on email decision: ‘We Don’t Operate on Incomplete Information’

President Obama made his first public comment on the recent FBI/Clinton email hijinks, just days before the election.

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Today, Congress finally showed it's willing to fight the FBI on encryption

It took a while, but FBI director Jim Comey got a little bit of the grilling he has earned in the FBI vs. Apple case. Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm writes on today's House Judiciary Committee hearings on Capitol Hill, at which both the government and the Cupertino tech giant were represented.

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