Comey dodges questions on Obama spying on Trump
FBI Director James Comey refused Wednesday to confirm under oath whether the bureau is investigating accusations related to whether the Obama administration spied on President Trump’s election campaign and transition team.
At the beginning of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., asked Comey if the FBI was investigating whether members of the Obama administration leaked information about the Trump team to the media.
The director replied that he could not confirm that in public without permission from the Justice Department, which, he said, would have initiated any such investigation.
Grassley indicated he would ask the Justice Department to provide the authorization to confirm if there is such an investigation.
Comey had also refused to confirm that FBI was conducting an investigation into leaks by the Obama administration to the press on the Trump team, during a March 20 open hearing by the House Intelligence Committee, .
On Wednesday, Grassley asked Comey a series of questions related to possible spying on the Trump team, but Comey gave the same response each time: He could not reply in a public forum.
Grassely noted that even former Obama administration intelligence chiefs had said there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, so, he asked Comey, “Where is all this speculation about collusion coming from?”
Again, Comey wouldn’t answer in public.
“We need to know whether there was anything improper going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or if these allegations are just a partisan smear campaign that manipulated our government into chasing conspiracy theories,’’ Grassley said.
“For the good of the country,” said the chairman, “I hope that the FBI gets to the truth soon — whatever that may be.”