The Latest: Comey says Russia still involved in US politics


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on FBI Director James Comey’s appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee (all times EDT):

11:45 a.m.

The head of the FBI says Russia is still involved in American politics.

Director James Comey during questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed that Russia provides safe haven for cyber criminals. When asked by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, Comey said that he does believe Russia is still involved in American politics.

The questions came as the South Carolina lawmaker pressed Comey on the dangers that Russia poses and could pose both to the U.S. and other nations.

The FBI is investigating the possibility of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. Comey also says Russia is responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee.

President Donald Trump has raised doubts about those assertions. Russian officials also have denied involvement.

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11:15 a.m.

FBI Director James Comey is maintaining that he did not treat disclosures about investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails and potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russia differently.

Comey is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about a variety of issues involving the FBI.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said Comey went public just before the election to talk about reopening the Clinton email case, but did not reveal the investigation into the Trump campaign.

Comey says both cases were treated consistently. He says he only told lawmakers about the reopening of the Clinton email investigation because he had testified before Congress that the probe had been closed. Comey says that other than revealing the Trump investigation exists, no other information would be discussed until it is closed.

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11:05 a.m.

FBI Director James Comey is strongly defending his decision to alert Congress that agents were revisiting the Hillary Clinton email investigation less than two weeks before the November election.

Comey tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that he concluded it would have been “catastrophic” to have concealed that development from Congress.

What led the FBI to revisit the investigation was the discovery of thousands of emails on a laptop belonging to the former congressman who was married to a top Clinton aide.

Comey says it made him — in his words — “mildly nauseous” to think he might’ve had an influence on the 2016 election, as many Democrats believe. But he says politics can’t influence the FBI’s decision-making.

Comey’s comments Wednesday are his most extensive about his actions from October in the email case.

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10:45 a.m.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says “there has been a lot of controversy” surrounding the FBI.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has told FBI Director James Comey at the start of an oversight hearing that the public’s faith in the bureau had been tested lately.

Grassley is pressing for answers about the FBI’s investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Comey disclosed the existence of that investigation when he testified at a hearing in March.

The committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, wants Comey to explain the differences how the FBI handled its investigation into the Trump campaign and an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

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