House Intelligence Hearing With John Brennan


John Brennan, a former director of the CIA, said while testifying to the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that he still has "unresolved questions" regarding whether or not Russian Federation worked with President Donald Trump's campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

The comments by Brennan and Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, added fuel to a controversy that has engulfed Trump since he fired FBI Director James Comey two weeks ago amid the agency's investigation into possible collusion between people associated with his presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

On Aug. 4, as evidence of that campaign mounted, Mr. Brennan warned Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russia's Federal Security Service, known as the F.S.B., not to meddle in the election. "They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including United States individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly", he told the panel.

He said he personally warned the Russians in August to stop interfering in the USA democratic process, telling a senior Russian security official that continued meddling would backfire and prevent any warming of relations after the election.

The panel, along a number of other congressional committees, the FBI, and a newly appointed special counsel, are conducting investigations into Russian meddling that include any potential links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday they would subpoena two of Flynn's businesses after he declined to hand over documents in its separate Russian Federation probe.

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It also came after The Washington Post reported that Trump had pressed his Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers to publicly deny any evidence of ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.

House investigators are particularly interested in finding out more about how Russia conducted its election attacks inside the USA and who Russian spies attempted to recruit to their side, said a House intelligence committee source.

"I don't feel it's appropriate for me to characterize discussions and conversations with the President", Coats told the Senate armed services committee at a hearing Tuesday. Brennan responded, "I was anxious by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with US persons".

"What I'm very concerned about though is the subsequent releases of what appears to be classified information purporting to point to the originator of the information, the liaison partners", said Brennan. He said the CIA is in the business of gathering intelligence, not evidence.

Brennan's comments came as investigations by the Justice Department and several Congressional committees into Russian interference increasingly focus on several people tied to the president.

Brennan's testimony was the first public confirmation of the worry at high levels of the us government a year ago over suspicious contacts between Trump campaign associates and Moscow.

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Under questioning from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Brennan said the Russians have been trying to disrupt Western elections since the 1960s, and that they've quickly adapted to the times.

Brennan also said he believes that Russian intelligence officials "will try to exploit elections" and present a "serious" threat.

Solomon L. Wisenberg, a Washington defense lawyer who worked as a prosecutor during the Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, said both of Flynn's corporate structures would likely have to turn over all business records sought by the committee.

"This morning's hearings back up what we've been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump collusion", a White House spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

Subpoenas for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn piled up Wednesday as the House intelligence committee pressured Flynn to cooperate with its investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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