Monday, March 20, Committee on intelligence U.S. house of representatives congressmen heard testimony from the Director of the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) James Comey and Director of national security Agency (NSA), Admiral Mike Rogers. As noted by Deutsche Welle, Komi and Rogers for the first time publicly spoke about the investigation of the relations of the new presidential administration and the Kremlin.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Republican Devin Nunes said that the Committee on intelligence in recent years, “closely following the Russian aggression,” an invasion of the Russian hackers in the electoral process “did not become for us a shock.” According to nuñez, who in his speech compared the Russia Today TV channel with the newspaper “Pravda”, the congressional hearings are designed to explain three key questions: what specific actions Moscow has taken to implement the pre-election process, the United States and who engaged in the campaign of politicians in this she is helped, whether there has been illegal surveillance of participants of the election campaign, finally, who “merges” the press numerous data regarding this scandal.
At the beginning of the three-hour hearing, the heads of the FBI and the NSA recalled that the investigation of possible Russian influence is still ongoing, and comments for the open hearing, they are willing to give only in exceptional cases. The most controversial and outspoken MPs ‘ questions, they are fundamentally ignored.
For example, when Congressman-Democrat Terri Sewell has named former adviser to the President of the United States Donald trump on national security General Michael Flynn’s “foreign agent” and “a lobbyist for foreign powers”, Comey refused commentary. According to reports in The New York Times, in recent months, Flynn repeatedly communicated with the Ambassador of Russia in the United States Sergey Kislyak. When in the middle of February it became known that the content of conversations with Kislyak, he is not fully informed the leadership of the country, the General was forced to resign.
Refusing to comment on the interaction of American politicians with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (in particular, alleged conversations with well-known political strategist Roger stone, the associate President of Donald trump), heads of intelligence agencies all confirmed that the investigation communications team trump with Russia is conducted.
“The investigation is from the end of July 2016 — said at the hearings in Komi Republic. — It is not known how long it will last, it is impossible to say how many “usually” under investigation, we do not operate. While we are working on whether there is any evidence of collusion”. As noted in his Facebook, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, information about the FBI investigation ties the team’s trump is “one of the two most important news today on behalf of the Director of Komi”. Second news: President trump “lied about the actions of his predecessor Barack Obama.”
According to the testimony of Komi, he as Director of the FBI has no information that would corroborate reports of audition headquarters trump. In early March, in his Twitter, trump wrote: “Just learned that Obama ordered to wire the Trump Tower shortly before my election victory”
“President Obama could not arbitrarily put a wire. That usually requires a court order, then comes a long process of negotiation involving all three branches of government, explained Komi Republic. — I have no information confirming the tweets of the President.”
One of the highlights of the hearing is associated with the speech of a member of the intelligence Committee Trey Gaudi — Congressman from South Carolina, representative of the Tea party, the conservative wing of the Republicans. He consistently questioned Rogers and Komi Republic on the legality of the appearance in the press “drains” on the conversations of General Flynn. The American media, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, wrote a series of articles about the conversations Flynn, based on interviews with anonymous members of the intelligence community.
“The American people send to the government the instruments of power, but instead requires privacy,” declared Gaudi. He and his colleague, Republican Tom Rooney in the course of the hearings drew attention to the fact that by law the U.S. intelligence services are obliged to keep secret the names of the Americans who accidentally became the object of surveillance (i.e., during communication with a foreign citizen). The disclosure of information about such citizens — a crime that carries up to 10 years in prison.
The heads of intelligence have agreed that the unauthorized dissemination of classified information is a serious offence and the investigation of leaks of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak to the media should be started with identifying the suspects. According to Admiral Rogers, the NSA 20 people have access to secret information, according to Komi, the FBI — “a little more”.
The beginning of the Komi Republic investigation has not confirmed nor denied, noting that classified information may have access, including employees of the Obama administration: former national security adviser, Susan rice, former Director of National intelligence James clapper, and others.
In General, the security officials confirmed evidence that Russian hackers directly affected the counting of votes at elections, they do not. “We’re responsible for foreign intelligence, not domestic,” said NSA Director Rogers. According to Komi, the FBI is also no such information.
Answering questions of congressmen about the Russian influence on the election campaign, Rogers and Comey has repeatedly declined to answer or said, as this happens “generally, in General”. For example, according to Komi, “hostile to U.S. power is used to collect information not only of diplomats and businessmen, and even exchange students”. Russia, he believes, is traditionally interested in how to understand the future political course of Washington.
However, Komi Republic emphasizes that the possible intervention of Russia was largely due to the personal hostility of the President to the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“It is logical that the Kremlin does not want to win and Clinton was motivated to take it to the enemy, — said Komi. — In addition, Putin also pointed to the examples Gerhard Schroeder and Silvio Berlusconi that it is more pleasant to deal with businessmen.”
Assessing the role of Russia, the Komi Republic, and Rogers agreed that Moscow is an enemy of Washington. “As our enemy, Russia seeks to confront us in different ways,” explained Comey. Rogers expressed confidence that Russia “wants to achieve a competitive advantage for themselves” at the expense of the United States.
Hearings in the house of representatives will continue on March 28.