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Sewell grills Comey, Rogers at Intelligence Hearing

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Monday, March 20, 2017, the US House Intelligence Committee held hearings into allegations that President Obama ordered a wiretap of, then candidate, Donald J. Trump’s phone, as well as whether or not Russian government operatives may have conspired with the Trump campaign to convince American voters to pick Donald J. Trump (R) over former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton (D). FBI Director James Comey testified before the Committee on Monday. US Representative Terri A Sewell (D-Selma) serves on the House Intelligence Committee.

Congresswoman Sewell said, “There you have it. Director Comey confirmed in our hearing today that the FBI and DOJ have “no information” to support President Trump’s allegation that President Obama wiretapped him. Time to refocus on real security threats, like Russia’s proven interference in our elections.”

Rep. Sewell added, “In addition to shedding light on Russian influence in our democracy, today’s hearing raises more questions about the nature of Russian attacks and who was involved. As a Member of the House Committee on Intelligence, I am committed to getting answers.”

Congresswoman Sewell said, “FBI Director Comey just publicly announced that the FBI is conducting an investigation into Russian election interference and whether any US persons had ties to the attack. This is a matter of such gravity, we need a thorough investigation.”

According to original reporting by The Hill, the FBI is investigating allegations into whether rightwing news websites contributed to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

FBI Director Comey told the Committee, “As you know our practice is not to confirm the existence of an ongoing investigation, but in unusual circumstances where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so.”

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Comey told the committee that the DOJ had authorized him to break bureau policy and publicly disclose the probe.

Director Comey said, “This is one of those circumstances. I can promise you we will follow the facts wherever they lead.” Comey said that there has been an ongoing FBI investigation dating back to late July and will include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

It is unclear at this time whether or not Russian agents did use bots and social media to promote Pro-Trump news stories on social media as has been alleged and whether or not that constitutes being an actual crime. It is also unclear whether or not persons working for conservative news sites had any knowledge that they were helping Russian agents helping Trump or were they just helping the conservative candidate and were oblivious to any Russian involvement. It is not clear whether any of this is even illegal or not even if the allegations that are swirling are factually correct or not.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.

 

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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