Comey Asked to Testify in House Panel's Russia-Trump Probe

  • House Intelligence panel sets first public hearing March 20
  • Committee invited NSA’s Rogers, Brennan, Clapper, Yates

James Comey in Chelsea, Mass., on March 7, 2017.

Photographer: Elise Amendola/AP

FBI Director James Comey has been asked to testify along with several former Obama administration officials before the House Intelligence Committee for its first public hearing on its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Committee chairman Devin Nunes said Tuesday that he has also invited National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, former acting attorney general Sally Yates and two executives from CrowdStrike Inc., a cybersecurity company, to the March 20 hearing. The California Republican added that none of invitees have been issued subpoenas, and that additional witnesses may be added.

The hearing will likely be the first in-depth public inquiry into allegations of connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, as well as Russia’s efforts to influence the U.S. election.

Nunes told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t believe the Russians conspired to help elect Trump, but that his committee will do "a full assessment" of that assertion.

The House Intelligence panel’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, told reporters Tuesday that Comey wasn’t forthcoming with information when the panel held a closed hearing last week.

"The first obstacle we met was the FBI director’s unwillingness to answer questions," Schiff said.

The House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting separate probes into the various Russia allegations. Trump has asked the panels to also investigate leaks and even suggested earlier this week that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of his office at Trump Tower.

Nunes and Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr both said Tuesday that they haven’t seen any evidence supporting Trump’s allegation.

“We will go anywhere there are intelligence or the facts that send us, so I’m not going to limit it one way or the other,” Burr said. “We don’t have anything today that would send us in that direction, but that’s not to say we might not find something.” 

Schiff said, "We will accept the president’s invitation to investigate this." He said committee members will question Comey and others about Trump’s allegations at the March 20 hearing.

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