The FBI may have evidence showing that campaign officials under President Donald Trump coordinated with Russian intelligence, who then allegedly disseminated factual information that was damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
According to an anonymous source that spoke to CNN, this scenario could be what FBI Director James Comey referred to when he announced that his agency is indeed investigating whether or not the Trump campaign colluded in some manner with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign.
During a March 20 hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed that an investigation was taking place after the agency compiled "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.
"I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts," Comey said, according to the New York Times. "As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."
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Although the announcement that a sitting president and his staff are under FBI investigation sent shock waves through the U.S. media, the White House downplayed the reaction.
"Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said after Comey's testimony, according to CNN.
Anonymous officials also told CNN that although the FBI cannot prove collusion took place at this time, they do have information that suggests collusion might have taken place.
But Comey told the HIC that the investigation is ongoing and he would not yet be allowed to divulge specifics about what information, if any, the FBI has in relation to the allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian intelligence officials.
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"Because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining," Comey said, according to the New York Times. "At the request of congressional leaders, we have taken the extraordinary step in coordination with the Department of Justice of briefing this Congress’ leaders, including the leaders of this committee, in a classified setting in detail about the investigation but I can’t go into those details here. I know that is extremely frustrating to some folks. I hope you and the American people can understand."