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James Comey Testifies at Senate Hearing

Former FBI Director James Comey testified at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing earlier this week regarding the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 United States presidential election. The testimony was widely publicized and broadcast live on national television networks. 

President Trump's ties to Russia were questioned throughout his campaign trail and continued into his presidency. In February, information surfaced that Michael Flynn, Trump's appointed National Security Advisor, had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with the Russian ambassoador to the United States. Flynn resigned shortly thereafter, marking the shortest tenure of any National Security Advisor ever in office. 

Earlier in July, the FBI opened an investigation into Trump's presidential campaign after acquiring the Donald Trump-Russia dossier which contained allegations of misconduct and collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government. In March, Comey confirmed this investigation in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. On May 9, 2017, Trump fired Comey, noting in his termination letter that he "greatly appreciate[d]  you telling me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." 

Comey's termination was wildly controversial, and Democrats and Republicans alike began calling for an independent investigation into Trump's ties with Russia. Weeks later, Comey agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Comey's testimony confirmed many of the rumors swirling around the media. Comey reiterated that the White House lied about why Comey was fired, and recounted his private encounters with President Trump, in which the president told Comey, "I hope you'll let this go," referring to the investigation on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Comey believed Trump's "hope" to be an order, and decided to ignore it. 

According to Comey, there is no doubt that Russia interfered in the United States presidential election. President Trump has loudly discredited Comey's testimony, and took to Twitter to threaten, "James Comey better hope there are no 'tapes.'" Comey, who began memorializing all conversations with the president in writing shortly after he took office, responded, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

 

 

 

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