Watch Live: FBI's Comey And NSA's Rogers Testify To Congress On Russia, Trump

Tyler Durden's picture

FBI Director James Comey and NSA head Adm. Michael Rogers hold their much anticipated testimony over Russian interference in the US elections, breaking their public silence for the first time before the House Intelligence Committee.

As The Hill adds, spectators and media lined up down the hall in preparation for the hotly-anticipated open hearing, where lawmakers are expected to press Comey to respond to President Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama "wiretapped" him during the campaign. It remains unclear how much the two officials will be able to discuss in a public setting, and many expect the hearing to quickly produce fireworks from a committee fiercely divided over what to investigate first.

Frustrated Democrats will push officials for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow — while Republicans will seek to get to the source of a series of media leaks of sensitive information believed to have come from the intelligence community.

Watch the hearing live below.

 

Earlier: a preview of today's main event

Today at 10am, the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency will break their public silence and give keenly await testimony about their investigations into possible links between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign at a rare open congressional intelligence committee hearing. They will also be grilled on Trump's explosive allegation that he was wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and Mike Rogers of the National Security Agency will speak publicly for the first time about two issues that have riveted the American public for weeks and further divided the country's two ever-at-odds political parties. The stakes for Trump could hardly be higher according to AFP. Representatives Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Adam Schiff, the panel's top Democrat, have called Comey and Rogers to testify as part of their committee's probe into allegations that Russia meddled in U.S. elections.  Other congressional committees also are investigating the matter, mostly behind closed doors. But amid a furor over whether Moscow tried to influence the 2016 presidential race on Trump's behalf, lawmakers said they would make public as much of their probes as possible.

Trump and his entourage's possible ties with the Russia of President Vladimir Putin have been the subject of much speculation since before he was elected on November 8.

US intelligence agencies in January took the extraordinary step of stating publicly that they had concluded that hackers working for Russia broke into the email accounts of senior Democrats and released embarrassing ones with the aim of helping Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Even since then, the question of whether Trump and company were or are somehow in cahoots with Russia has dominated the national conversation. A congressional panel so far has found no evidence that Trump's campaign colluded with Russia, its chairman said Sunday.

Based on "everything I have up to this morning -- no evidence of collusion," by Trump's team and Moscow, Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News.

Meanwhile, Moscow has denied involvement in the hacks, and Trump has denounced the tumult over alleged Russia connections as a "total witch hunt."

Monday's hearing was also expected to address a second explosive issue: Trump's accusations that the Obama administration wiretapped his phone at Trump Tower in New York during the campaign. Trump on March 4 tweeted that Obama had "tapped" his phone -- a charge that has consumed political debate in the US capital.

Several congressional panels have launched investigations into Russia's alleged interference, including the House and Senate intelligence committees, which have jurisdiction over the nation's 17 intelligence agencies, and the House and Senate judiciary committees. The FBI is also probing Russian interference in the election. The question remains whether the agency has opened a criminal investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign aides and Russian officials.

Monday's hearing promises to be a very public showdown between the FBI and lawmakers, with the national security world certain to watch whether Comey drops a political bombshell. Members of Congress have expressed frustration over what they call the lack of cooperation from the FBI about Russia and Trump's wiretap claim, which Obama and an array of other officials have flatly denied. The issue of wiretapping first surfaced last month, when Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after it was revealed he had misled top officials over his contacts with the Russian ambassador to Washington to discuss sanctions Obama had just announced against Russia over the election hacking.

 

Around the same time, The New York Times reported that US intelligence had intercepted calls showing that members of Trump's campaign had repeated contacts with top Russian intelligence officials in the year preceding the election.  Nunes has said that the intelligence committee probe focuses in part on who revealed that Flynn had unreported private contacts with the Russians over the sanctions issue.

Adding to the intrigue, Trump's attorney general Jeff Sessions recused himself from any Russia-related inquiries after it was learned that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador in the months before Trump took office, and had failed to disclose this during his confirmation hearing when asked a question about such contacts and speaking under oath.

Domestically, the controversy over the wiretapping claim has pulled attention away from Trump's effort to push through other key items on his agenda, including the planned repeal of Obama's healthcare law, tax reform and his controversial travel ban. Critics say it has also debased the already coarse tone of political debate in Washington and eroded the president's credibility at home and abroad.

Some of the fallout has been international in scope: The White House was forced to retract a charge repeated last week by its spokesman Sean Spicer suggesting that Britain's intelligence services aided the Obama administration in the alleged wiretap. That claim has strained relations with America's closest ally. Still, as recently as Friday, Trump repeated the claim in an aside during a White House press conference with Angela Merkel. "As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps," Trump told the German chancellor, referring to a WikiLeaks report in 2015 that the US had monitored calls involving Merkel and her top aides for years.

For those not near a TV, the hearing will be live webcast by C-Span.

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post turtle saver's picture

enough of this baloney... the US people don't want to fight Russia but the US deep state cabal does... the people elected someone counter to the cabal's plans, hence all the fireworks...

the USA is better off having Russia as a friend than foe... the Cold War is over and has been for some time, for cryin' out loud...

Shadow1275's picture

Gee I wonder what carefully rehearsed vague lies Comey is going to report to us this time...

 

Would somebody hang this lying bastard already?!?!?! It's really starting to piss me off, and have Killary swing too while you're at it

Dancing Disraeli's picture

Toss McCabe in there, and you've got a deal.

Shadow1275's picture

I'll see you one Mccabe and raise you one Merkill

chubbar's picture

If they don't know who leaked the transcript of Flynn then why should we believe that any other information they provide is accurate? Comey and company are either in control of all informatiion or they need to admit that they don't have a fucking clue about much of what they are telling congress.

Trump and company gave congress information on the wiretapping last week, not a word of which has leaked. If Comey throws Trump under the bus and/or controverts what information Trump has gathered, there will be fireworks.

Trump needs to ask Comey what is going on with Pedogate? The NYPD needs to step up and do the right thing here. I think Comey is playing for the other side.

AntiLeMaire's picture

Things that require a warrant (and thus create a paper trail):

1 - unmasking of any US citizen in US-FOR communications intercepted by NSA on US soil (as was case with Flynn)
2 - making a transcript of intercept of any US citizen in US-FOR communications intercepted by NSA on US soil...

Now #2 can perhaps be excused for depending on what kind of investigation was held against FOR counterpart (in this case the ambassador), but still making and retaining a transcript on a legally held conversation between a US citizen and ayone else is kind of iffy just in itself...

But #1, the unmasking of the identity, absolutely requires a warrant, criminal or FISA.
And so far we haven't seen any, AFAIK. So ... WTF?

Mind you IMHO that is the legal equivalent of wiretapping without a warrant. After all, in the case of NSA dragnet tapping, it is not the tapping that requires a warrant, it is what happens thereafter that matters.

 

Regardless of the leaking, which is a crime in itself, IMHO the investigators also have some explaining to do.
Where are the warrants?
And on what basis can this be claimed to be NOT a partisan witch hunt?

Especially as 'they' were basing their initiative on groundless, 'evidence free', accusations, which at least the FBI have already proven to be false fairly quickly. So why was any investigation continued after that point (sometime October/November)? By whose orders? Perhaps of AG Lynch? On what legal basis?

 

Can't wait to see Gowdy grilling some people with some very pointed questions ...

 

AntiLeMaire's picture
What Democrats don't want FBI Director James Comey to talk about

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/03/20/what-democrats-dont-want-fbi-d...

...

What worries Democrats is what Comey may say about Obama administration surveillance of the Trump campaign.

It seems likely, given former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s statement on March 5 that there is no evidence of any collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia, that Comey will make a similar statement.  If he does and also confirms the Obama administration sought FISA warrants to surveil Trump campaign staff, the hearing could take a very bad turn for the Democrats.

AntiLeMaire's picture

WaPo walk back, inch for inch ...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/20/the-white-hous...

"...

Had Trump come out and merely expressed concern that people close to him were wrapped up in incidental collections, that would have merited investigation. But he cast it as a massive, Watergate-esque scandal, with one president spying on his potential successor. He prejudged the outcome in ways that the media and not even top Democrats have done when it comes to possible Trump-Russia collusion.

It is entirely possible that this whole Russia investigation will never prove any collusion between Trump and Russia. Even Democrats are slowly beginning to rein in their allegations — for fear of having overplayed their hands when all is said and done. And the media is acknowledging this skepticism.

Trump's problem is that he showed no such compunction or political discipline when he fired off those tweets about Obama wiretapping him."

 

Well we'll see about that last bit, and soon, won't we?

 

 

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

#PizzaGate and #FreeJewGoldstein

 

If Trump don't start draining the swamp I foresee war in the streets very soon.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

fat dumb goy will not do shit until the bread and circuses stop.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Nah, they'll kill the elite and take their fancy shit.

Smufty's picture

ahhhh, relief!  I was getting anxious because no Trumptard had yet mentioned Pizzagate  -  the delusional right wing wet dream...

chubbar's picture

If you think Pizzagate is a right wing wet dream then you don't have a fucking clue what it is all about. Pizzagate, if true and I think it is, will take down at least 30% of both parties congressmen and political leaders. It'll ripple through media and probably high level business men. We'll be lucky if it doesn't create a constitutional crisis (or maybe we'll be lucky if it does?). It isn't partisan, it's about what is right and protecting our kids. What a fucking moron, go troll somewhere else.

farflungstar's picture

I always wonder about people who would rather defend accused pedophiles rather than look closer to see if any allegations might be true.

Arnold's picture

I have always made money on Gonzaga.

dr kill's picture

Where is that fuck Sessions. anyway?  Did he retire?

Jayda1850's picture

He's either drafting ways to fill the private prisons or coming up with new cookies in the keebler elf tree.

VinceFostersGhost's picture

 

 

Where is that fuck Sessions. anyway?  Did he retire?

 

I know......right?

 

Can we at least get this guy to show up on a tarmac in some airport?

PrayingMantis's picture

 

>>> Where is that fuck Sessions. anyway?


... he must be busy, still,  trying to protect his grandaughter from child molester Joe Biden ;) >>>

 

"Jeff sessions protects Grandaughter from Child Molester Joe Biden (Sessions Swats Biden's Hand Away)

Last 45 seconds: Great defender of Americans Jeff Sessions saves child from pizza loving pervert Joe Biden. This video has 2 examples of pedophile Joe in action surrounded by cameras on National Television playing with young girls nipples.There are many others not included in the video."

>>> https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fad_1489957313 

 

 

 

Idaho potato head's picture

Oh man that was funny, good I wasn't drinking anything.

Secret Weapon's picture

Probably rolling a fat one while figuring out how to ramp up the war on drugs. 

halcyon's picture

This is political checkers.

They can't use Sessions, because (in eyes of the public or PR) he is a potential liability.

Hence, they have to use other assetts.

 

VinceFostersGhost's picture

 

 

They can't use Sessions

 

Well then.....maybe we need a new AG.

 

If he can't do his job......that may be a problem.

 

His predecessor sure as fu#k did her job.  Is he shy or something?

beijing expat's picture

He is hard at work and he is going to take many scalps soon. He recused himself from the Russia crap because he knew it was total BS. He is onto the pedo shit and the illegal spying. It's always quiet before an attack.

TAALR Swift's picture

Sessions is recusing himself daily at his desk and leather chair, watching videos from Weiner's laptop. 

Ghordius's picture

the whole story is a bit like the joke that Mr. Trump was doing with Dr. Merkel: "we were both wiretapped, eh?"

Global Hunter's picture

euro-trash like you is the only joke I see around here.  I have said it before you have to be the most tedious poster on ZH (along with that Brazilian tranny Escuaro whatever her/his name is). 

Arnold's picture

You have a blind eye for MDB, then?
Tut. Tut.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Its not a joke Ghordo.

Merkel was wiretapped and has been an utter disaster for Germany on the migrant issue. She is on her way out, much like your EU.

Jayda1850's picture

A pox on both these parties. A game of who can lie the most while our tax dollars are wasted on these idiot's salaries.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

+1

I'm more concerned with Trump's entire cabinet crammed with as many Goldmanites as possible.  Is his cabinet filled with ex-KGB?  O no?

Trump talks shit about other candidates being controlled by Goldman Sachs:

https://youtu.be/FHNAZMIcFNg?t=2713

Jayda1850's picture

Agreed. You could have said Trump just talks shit.

Umh's picture

The salaries are the least of our problems.

Uncertain T's picture

The Trump team is debasing the status quo... more popcorn and beer for me. 

billwilson2's picture

Donald ... making america paranoid again.

VinceFostersGhost's picture

 

 

Shut up and consume bitch.

buttmint's picture

...ever try to flush a full-on bowel movement and the toilet is sluggish?

Speed picks up, slowly---this is the shitstorm engulfing America since early November.

Popcorn/Front row seats as an American, kudos to George Carlin!

Due North's picture

I can't summon adequate vernacular to describe what a gigantic failure Comey represents.

DuneCreature's picture

He was hoping you wouldn't notice.

Note that Slippery Jim waits until half the committee are looking down at their iPhones before he commits any major perjury.

Live Hard, Comey Must Have Been Trained At Langley On How To Lie Under Oath And Not Get Busted, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

DuneCreature's picture

Make James 'Slippery Jim' Comey keep both hands where we can see them when he's sworn in this time.

No more of that crossing his fingers behind his back when he says, "So help my little dog."

Live Hard, I Can't Wait To Hear Slippery Jim's Creative Efforts At Telling The Tooth, The Whole Tooth And Nothing But The Tooth, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

Dancing Disraeli's picture

I want that effer to cough up Weiner's laptop dirt.  They need to grill him on THAT.

DuneCreature's picture

Absolutely. ..... I'm sure George Webb is sick and tired of sending in tips to the FBI, DoJ, Congress and Batman.

Let's see, Mr Webb has been blowing his whistle for how long now?

Day 147 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTlu3-JoruM

Live Hard, I Guess Evil Thieving FBI Pirates Don't Answer Their Tips Hotline Bat Phone During Normal Business Hours, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

earleflorida's picture

unlike the ussa congress that finds it difficult to juggle but two items simultaneously,... trump is a multitasker, and a refined contortionist at that, using his every appendage as an advantage

spare not an opportunity when ones opponents have a pigeo'd-hole agenda as a 'comey' lost in a cop`pice

Mike Masr's picture

Biggest waste of taxpayer dollars investigating Russian hacking in the election. Democrats are just SORE FUCKING LOSERS that still can't get over that their corrupt, dirty, crooked Hillary LOST LOST LOST!!!!!

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

Everyone always loses to Goverment Sachs

"The FED is doing a good job, I respect the Power of the FED"

Gary Cohn, Ex-GOldman Sachs CEO, Chief Economic Advisor to Trump Admin - March 2017

DuneCreature's picture

The James Corbett Report on how Goldman sacks everything in sight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHNAZMIcFNg

Live Hard, Plundering Is What Pirates Do When They're Not Pillaging, Die Free

~ DC v5.0