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House Intelligence Chair: No Evidence of Trump, Russian Ties

House Intelligence Chair: No Evidence of Trump, Russian Ties

“As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls.”

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes announced there is no evidence of communication between President Donald Trump’s team and Russian officials:

“There is no evidence that I’ve been presented [by the intelligence community] of regular contact with anybody in the Trump campaign,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters.

“The way it sounds like to me is, it’s been looked into and there’s no evidence of anything there.”

The House Intelligence Committee has taken on the task of investigating any Russian interference with our presidential election.

Nunes stated that the committee has only decided the scope of the investigation, but will continue to receive evidence:

“As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I don’t have that,” he reiterated. “What I’ve been told, by many folks, is that there’s nothing there — but we’re absolutely looking into it.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged interference. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has also asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “recuse himself from any FBI investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.” Nunes has dismissed both ideas:

“At this point, what are we going to appoint a special prosecutor to do, exactly? Chase stories of American citizens that end up in newspaper articles?” he said, adding that if there was any evidence of serious crime, the committee would “consider” the need for an independent prosecutor.

Nunes told reporters that the committee has evidence of one serious crime: the leaks to the media, “apparently from the intelligence community.” These leaks include a phone call between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyac:

Nunes on Monday said he was “very interested” in who made the decision to expose the contents of the intercepted phone call to the media.

“What laws did they use to decide to unmask Flynn’s name?” he said.

In discussing the concerns over the leak, Nunes appeared to reveal the mechanism by which the government was able to legally surveil Flynn, a U.S. citizen, something that has been speculated about since the transcripts were leaked.

Nunes said the calls fell under “FISA-warranted communications” and that “Flynn’s side of the conversation was captured inadvertently.” But officials may keep “communications by U.S. citizens that are ‘inadvertently’ intercepted in the material contains foreign intelligence or evidence of crime” under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act:

“The good thing is about FISA and the way it works, there should be a record of who in the government knew about Gen. Flynn talking to the Russian ambassador and from there we should be able to know who’s in the realm of the possibles of who we would need to talk to,” Nunes said Monday.

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Comments

According to Dan Rather , it didn’t happen ,but it could have.

    Old0311 in reply to dmi60ex. | February 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Compared to Brain Williams, Dan Rather is a nancy boy. I remember the time that Brian fought off an NVA regiment to have a chance to talk us. He was diddy bopping through their lines singing. I can hear the song now. ” I walk through the jungle with my **** in my hand, I’m a mean ************, I’m a jungle man.”

Sammy Finkelman | February 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Several caveats:

1) He’s talking about regular contact.

2) He’s talking about Russian officials and also perhaps known intelligence agents.

3) He’s talking about evidence he’s been presented with.

4) Roger Stone was not part of the Trump campaign during most of this period, but he was in contact with Russians and with the campaign.

    Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that Roger Stone talked to some Russians before he was part of the campaign. (he strongly denies this, as stated above, and no one so far has produced hard evidence to the contrary). But, as a I said, for the sake of argument, what crime was committed if Roger Stone talked to someone when he wasn’t part of the campaign?

    All this talk about Special Prosecutors and the like; you have to at least allege the subject of the investigation of committing SOME specific crime before you can go that far. What crime are we talking about?

    It seems that all the press, and the critics (but I repeat myself) is a bunch of oogity-boogity “oh, that loooks Baaaaad!!!” kind of stuff, but they never get around to actually saying what crime they think happened.

    NAME A CRIME.

    Sammy, a russkie lover for his entire life, now finds that any conversation between a russkie and an American is some sort of crime.

    Give us a hint sammie, what is the crime?

    Or, better yet, show us the conversation…

Don’t tell Maxine Waters!

Sammy Finkelman | February 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Roger Stone says he had no contact with Russian inttelligence officials.

The question is who persuaded Trump to be so pro-Putin?

    I am more concerned about who persuaded Loretta Lynch to meet with Bill Clinton on that airplane. Don’t we need a special prosecutor for that? Don’t we need a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scrutiny of the Tea Party? Don’t we need a Special Prosecutor to decide whether to pursue criminal proceedings for Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress citation? Don’t we need a special prosecutor to investigate possible perjury in the Hillary email scandal?

      I’m fairly positive that the person who persuaded Loretta Lynch to meet with Bill Clinton on the aircraft was mostly Loretta Lynch. Remember, Bill was *responsible* for appointing Lynch to the US Attorney position in 1999, and supported her 2010 appointment to be USA again, and AG in 2014.

      If she had morals, she would have simply refused to meet with him. It’s a little more complicated than “She did, so she doesn’t” though. Former presidents carry an immense amount of influence, and Bill is no stranger to throwing his weight around. According to sources close to Lynch, she was terrified of turning him down.

      I feel much better having the Clintons as far away from the levers of power as possible.

      Old0311 in reply to sequester. | February 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      And for Fast and Furious.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Old0311. | February 27, 2017 at 10:54 pm

        Remember that Obama withheld communications he had with Holder and DOJ over Fast & Furious as “privileged”. I wonder if a succeeding president can release communications deemed privileged by a predecessor? I don’t see why not. The successor has just as much authority to determine that a communication with the White House is not privileged as the predecessor had to determine that the communication was privileged. It would be interesting to see those communications, eh?

    Maybe Trump persuaded Trump. Trump actually can think for himself. I think Trump hoped that he could work with Putin to dismantle ISIS. But Trump is a realist and pragmatist. Putin’s behavior will be the guide – and Trump won’t be handing out any silly “reset” buttons.

    There never was evidence, not even probable cause. There was only inference from motives and methods used by dead Soviets.

    The question is what is the source of virulent anti-nativism that created a trail of tears from Libya to Syria to Ukraine. And now targets Russians, Europeans, and Americans for daring to question their motives.

It’s lucky Trump didn’t tell the Riskiest in front of the world’s media about having more flexibility after the elections or something isn’t it? I mean if they happened the media would be all over it right??

Mailman

What’s evidence got to do with it?

Why are there foreign and anti-native domestic interests trying to influence our election and disenfranchise Americans?

This was especially noxious when Democrats invited foreign audits of the 2008 election while painting/projecting Americans as [class] diversitists and Pro-Choice (i.e. selective, opportunistic, unprincipled).

This whole exercise is based on innuendo with no hard proof of any kind but the Dems are demanding a special prosecutor. Where were these same people when it was disclosed that hillary received hundreds of millions of dollars fro “Donors” to the clinton scam fund? There were actual records of the money paid to her and her horny dog husband but that didn’t seem to be enough for the Dems. Now, these hypocrites are showing their true colors by demanding an investigation into an issue when there is no evidence of any wrong doing.

There’s no evidence of ties between Trump and the Russians who are alleged to have hacked the DNC — but it must be investigated! On the other hand, evidence of vote fraud, whether voting by illegals or other fraud, exists, but an investigation to find out how extensive is completely out of the question.

Right.

If we want to investigate Russian ties lets throw in Hillary and Pedo John Podesta .

    DaveGinOly in reply to dmi60ex. | February 27, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Yes, an investigation into Russian influence in American politics, rather than their influence on Democrats or Republicans. Who could possibly object?

Timing is critical to understand the RUSSIAN PROBLEM.

Russia actively assisted South Ossetia to secede from Georgia in the early 2000s. It assisted The Crimea to secede from The Ukraine in 2014 and absorbed it into the Russian Federation. Yet, in all that time it was never even a blip on the radar of either the Bush or the Obama administration. Suddenly, in November of 2016, right after Trump won the Presidential election, Russia is elevated to the number one threat facing the USA. This is an incredibly interesting development, as the only thing that had changed since 2014 was that Hillary Clinton lost the election for President. Now, why would the Russians expend any energy to defeat a Presidential candidate which had ignored them for the last 16 years? Does anyone expect Hillary Clinton to move troops to the Russian border after assuming office? How about sanctions? Maybe a harsh word at the UN? No, neither do I.

The whole Russian issue is a gigantic red herring. It has no basis in fact. It is designed to put pressure on the Trump administration. Ignore it.

Mac45: It assisted The Crimea to secede from The Ukraine in 2014 and absorbed it into the Russian Federation. Yet, in all that time it was never even a blip on the radar of either the Bush or the Obama administration.

The Obama Administration engaged with the international community to impose punitive sanctions, which were to stay in place until Russia implemented the Minsk II agreements. This may be one reason the Russians worked to cause political turmoil in the U.S. by interfering in the U.S. elections.

    Perhaps, but this is a stretch.

    In the first place, though only in place since 2015, the sanctions are so minimal and so subject to internal EU bickering, that they create little hardship for Russia. Also, Minsk II does not relate to Crimea in any way, being limited to Ukraine, Russia, the DPR and LPR. On top of that, the US was in direct negotiations since May 2015 to find a creative solution to both the Eastern Ukraine problems and Syria. This was wholly a bilateral negotiation between the US and Russia and none of the other affected parties were represented. As the US was already talking with Russia and there was no reason to suspect that Hillary Clinton would not continue the talks working to thwart her election for that reason are is a little far-fetched.

    Second, there is no visible reason to assume that Trump would be any easier on the Russians than Clinton. Clinton, as SecState, proved incredibly ineffective in dealing with virtually every aspect of US foreign policy. In order to make the assumption that Russia wished to create political turmoil in the US, following a Trump win, one would have to assume that Russian influence in American politics runs very deep in the Democrat Party and liberal organizations and that Russia is actively guiding the people and organizations fomenting the unrest. While this is certainly possible, it has been documented to have occurred during the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 70s, if proven, it would be considered an act of war and could result in extreme pressure upon the President and Congress, from the Trump supporters, to exponentially expand actions against Russia, including armed intervention. Also, The nature of the information released is almost benign when compared to what must be in dossiers on HC and Co in the basement of the Lubyanka. I can’t really see the Wikileak material being a serious attempt to undermine the Clinton candidacy.

Mac45: the sanctions are so minimal and so subject to internal EU bickering, that they create little hardship for Russia

The sanctions, several rounds of which began in 2014, are considered a significant factor in the collapse of the ruble against western currencies, and the ensuing Russian financial crisis.

Mac45: there is no visible reason to assume that Trump would be any easier on the Russians than Clinton.

There’s every reason to assume that Trump means to be easier on Russia than the Obama Administration, as in words he says in public.

Mac45: In order to make the assumption that Russia wished to create political turmoil in the US, following a Trump win, one would have to assume that Russian influence in American politics runs very deep in the Democrat Party and liberal organizations and that Russia is actively guiding the people and organizations fomenting the unrest.

The U.S. Intelligence Community has determined that Russia interfered in the U.S. election in order to weaken the Democratic candidate for president.

    miklrz in reply to Zachriel. | February 28, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Z:The sanctions, several rounds of which began in 2014, are considered a significant factor in the collapse of the ruble against western currencies, and the ensuing Russian financial crisis.

    Ridiculous. The fall in the ruble had nothing to do with sanctions, and everything to do with the corresponding fall in the price of crude. The two are nearly perfectly correlated, with the exception that the ruble (under sanctions the whole time, mind you), has improved considerably better than oil since the beginning of 2015.

    Z: There’s every reason to assume that Trump means to be easier on Russia than the Obama Administration, as in words he says in public.

    Easier than a “re-set button”? I find Mac45’s arguments far more compelling than yours, particularly concerning the former SoS.

    The U.S. Intelligence Community has determined that Russia interfered in the U.S. election in order to weaken the Democratic candidate for president.

    There is simply no evidence that this is true, as reiterated today by the story above. If you have evidence of your claim, please present it.

      miklrz: The fall in the ruble had nothing to do with sanctions, and everything to do with the corresponding fall in the price of crude.

      While oil is certainly a significant factor, Russian companies are struggling to repay debt denominated in dollars because of the sanctions. The sanctions have significantly affected investment necessary to move away from a dependence on oil.

      Corporate Demand for Dollars Adds to Pressure on the Crumbling Ruble

      miklrz: Easier than a “re-set button”?

      An attempt to reset relations with Russia is hardly the same thing as glowingly praising an autocrat while insulting democratic allies.

      miklrz: The U.S. Intelligence Community has determined that Russia interfered in the U.S. election in order to weaken the Democratic candidate for president.

      Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security: “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations… These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”

There’s absolutely no evidence Trump keeps sheep in the WH basement for sexual reasons, so we better get an investigation going on that, too.

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