The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion actually took place. But the information suggesting collusion is now a large part of the focus of the investigation (into how Russia meddled in our election with the help of members of the Trump Team) . . . U.S. officials said the information being investigated was not drawn from the leaked dossier of unverified information compiled by that former British intelligence official, compiled for Trump’s political opponents, though the dossier also suggested coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives. The FBI was already investigating four former Trump campaign associates — Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page — for contacts with Russians known to U.S. intelligence.
Pundit 1: this is becoming a low-grade fever that shows no sign of breaking for this administration. And that’s very challenging as you go on. Either in a campaign or an administration, when you’re trying to do something legislative and you have this going on. This White House has a habit of creating all kinds of self-inflicted wounds without this. This is deeply troubling for them.
Pundit 2: this is not simply about whether there was contact or collusion between Trump officials and the Russians. If you’re inside the FBI, this is about whether someone lied to a federal law officer during the investigation. That is there were contacts whether they are illegal or not, and they told the federal investigator something else. Inside the bureau, that will tick people off, and furthermore that is a federal violation.
This morning, House Intelligence Committee chairman, a Republican, who is supposed to be a leading bipartisan independent investigation of Russian hacking, connections between Russia and the Trump campaign and leaks, Chairman Devin Nunes, didn’t hold his normal joint press conference alongside the ranking Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff. Instead, he faced cameras alone and made what sure sounded like a startling revelation. He got a piece of “evidence” (from an un-named and perhaps unknown source) and hurried over to show it to POTUS DT who later said it helped him to feel somewhat “vindicated.” Bear in mind the POTUS is the ‘subject’ of the investigation that Nunes is ‘supposed’ to be leading.
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: On numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
Nunes made that announcement without telling ranking member Congressman Schiff anything about it nor had he shown anyone on the committee the evidence he says he saw.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump said that he felt somewhat vindicated by what you told him today. Just to be clear, there’s still no evidence that President Trump himself was wiretapped.
NUNES: That’s — that is correct. That is correct.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE (ranking member): The chairman (Nunes) will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House because he cannot do both.
REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, my reaction was, what in world is happening right now? I mean, here’s material that presumably would be relevant to the investigation that may be classified if it’s — if it’s surveillance, and that the chairman would take it first to the media and second to the White House which, of course, is one of the parties being investigated here, without even sharing it with the ranking member or the other members of the committee, that is just I guess wildly irregular is an understatement. But it was really disconcerting, because it just — it drives a stake right into the heart of the perception of impartiality that I hope our committee’s investigation might have.
A. COOPER (CNN host): When you say it was a political move, do you believe that Chairman Nunes is basically trying to give White House cover here or give the White House something to divert attention from the testimony earlier this week?
HIMES: All I can tell you is you just saw a wildly irregular action by the chairman of the committee charged with being objective and thorough in an investigation just fly down the street to the White House and, lo and behold, immediately thereafter, President Trump says that I’ve been partially vindicated. “Partially vindicated”, odd sort of language in that outrageous tweet that Barack Obama had wiretapped him in Trump Tower.
And then you have Speaker Paul Ryan reiterating that, oh, look, there was something there. This is just the most pathetic fig leaf because it has absolutely nothing to do with President Obama potentially wiretapping Donald Trump in Trump Tower but it allows these guys I guess to tick a box and show America that maybe they were only partially liars rather than, you know, full bore, you know, completely crazy liars.
CARL BERNSTEIN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: . . . we are seeing today and tonight why we need a special prosecutor. There is abundant evidence that there’s something that has happened in terms of those in the campaign of Donald Trump and the Russian leaks of these e-mails that requires a kind of impartiality that only a special prosecutor under what we are seeing here on the air from these guys on this committee . . . we need a 9/11-type commission that can also look at what the Trump White House is claiming and see if there’s anything there or put it to rest in a way that the American people can believe.
- Mike Huckabee Calls for ‘Independent Investigation’ of Surveillance on Trump Team
- Senator McCain Calls For Independent Investigation On Russia Saying Congress Has “Lost All Credibility”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., says Chairman of the House Intel Committee, Devin Nunes, owes his committee an apology. Swalwell is also calling for an independent investigation into wiretap claims.
MSNBC legal analyst Jeremy Nash spoke to the utter absurdity of the situation live on-air this Wednesday, explaining exactly why it is that what Nunes has done is so out of line.
‘I think in the 40 years of the Committee’s existence, since the post-Watergate era reforms… I have never heard of the Chairman of an oversight committee going to brief the president of the United States about concerns he has about things he’s read in intelligence reports. The job of the committee to do oversight over the executive branch, not to bring them into their investigation or to tip them off to things that they may be looking at’
Nash went on to say that he believes that other members of Nunes’ committee must be “horrified” at what Nunes has done.
‘This is a chairman who is supposed to be doing an impartial, bipartisan investigation of the president and his inner circle, and instead he goes and basically tells the president and his team everything he knows. It’s very concerning… this is a true breakdown in the entire oversight process.’
London (CNN)Police investigating the deadliest London terror attack in 12 years have arrested eight people in raids around Britain, as an ISIS-affiliated news agency claimed that the extremist group was behind the outrage.
Prime Minister Theresa May revealed the perpetrator was British born and once linked to violent extremism, in a statement to Parliament a day after it was locked down when the assailant breached its perimeter.
Three people died in the attack — an American citizen, a woman of Spanish origin and a police officer stabbed as he defended Parliament — and another 40, many of them from other countries, were injured. Of those, 29 required hospital treatment and seven are critical, police said.
May said the current threat level for Britain — which has been at severe, the second highest, for some time — would not be raised to critical because there was no specific intelligence that an attack was imminent. Since 2013, police, security and intelligence agencies have successfully disrupted 13 separate terrorist plots in Britain, she said.
“It is still our belief — which continues to be borne out by our investigation — that this attacker acted alone yesterday and was inspired by international terrorism,” he said. “To be explicit, at this stage, we have no specific information about further threats to the public.”