— CNN (@CNN) March 20, 2017
As expected, FBI Director James Comey has appeared in front of the House Intelligence Committee to testify on both Russian interference in the election and President Trump’s baseless wiretapping accusations against President Obama. The former topic claimed much of the hearing’s opening portions with the House Intelligence Committee quickly noting that there was no evidence to support Trump’s wiretap claims. Then, the mission began in earnest to investigate whether Trump associates “aided and abetted” Russia’s hacking efforts, which — if true — would amount to “one of the most shocking betrayals to democracy in history.” (And Comey soon made his voice heard.)
From there, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) read an exhaustive chronology of all Trump-Russia matters, including how Trump “openly appealed” for the Russians to hack into Clinton’s emails. Over and over, each item received the same follow-up question, “Is it a coincidence?” The committee understood that there’s a great enough chance that these aren’t coincidences that this chain of events must be thoroughly investigated. Then, the group appealed for Comey to make his testimony.
Once Comey took the mic, he stressed that the FBI generally does not comment upon whether an investigation is underway. However, this is an unusual situation, so the Department of Justice has authorized him to confirm that the FBI is investigating Russia’s efforts to interfere with the U.S. election, including links between Russia and the Trump campaign. As with any other investigation, this will include digging into possible crimes. However and because it’s an “open and ongoing investigation,” he can’t say who is being investigated. Comey appealed to the public and media for patience, since he could give no timetable for how events would unfold.
And he’s off to the races. Later on during the hearing, Comey warned that the Russians “will be back” for the 2020 election, and “they may be back in 2018” if they decide they’ve been successful at dividing America.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 20, 2017
You can watch Comey’s full opening statement at the bottom of this post, but FYI — early on Monday morning, Trump declared this hearing to be “FAKE NEWS” before it even happened.