FBI Director James Comey confirmed this morning that the FBI is investigating potential links between members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. Comey and NSA director Admiral Mike Rogers testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election would include any links between Trump’s team and the Russians.
However, Republicans on the committee seemed more concerned with leaks to the press than the actions of Trump or any of his close advisers. GOP congressmen repeatedly asked Comey and Rogers about illegal leaks from the intelligence services. The Washington Post reported that anonymous intelligence sources had told that newspaper that Mike Flynn, former National Security Adviser, had met with Russian officials during the campaign. Flynn was forced to resign.
While Democrats on the committee asked about the investigation into Trump’s team, Republicans used their time to attack leaks and suggest that the leaks revealing Flynn’s meetings with Russians could endanger Americans. Republicans focused on the potential backlash against spying powers used to ‘protect’ Americans.
Committee Republicans seemed particularly angry about leaks concerning Mike Flynn. Congressman after congressman asked about investigations into leaks and felony charges, echoing Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly demanded a full investigation into ‘illegal leaks.’
Republicans chose to ignore the Trump team’s links to Russia and attack leaks as a threat to national security. Comey and Rogers fielded several very similar questions about leaks and punishments for agents who leak but very little information was provided about the investigation into Trump’s campaign since Republicans refused to ask about it.