House intel panel to hear from Comey, other top officials on Russia probe
WASHINGTON — Top law enforcement and intelligence officials are expected to testify next week on Capitol Hill about Russian activities to influence the U.S. presidential election.
The House intelligence committee said Friday that it had sent letters requesting FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, to appear at a closed hearing May 2.
The committee said it also has asked former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to appear at an open hearing that same day.
Comey and Rogers testified in an open hearing late last month. At the time, Comey confirmed that the FBI was investigating whether President Donald Trump’s associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election.
The FBI is conducting a counterintelligence investigation exploring how Russia covertly sought to influence the American presidential election on Trump’s behalf. Such investigations are heavily classified and the committee asked Comey and Rogers to return to testify in a closed session.
The committee’s hearing schedule was stalled last month after Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., disclosed that U.S. spy agencies had swept up communications of Trump associates. Nunes suggested the material had been mishandled by Obama administration officials.
Nunes later acknowledged that details had been shared with him by a secret source on the White House grounds. That raised questions about whether the chairman was too close to the White House to lead an impartial inquiry.
Nunes then announced he would no longer lead the congressional investigation, while continuing to handle other aspects of his role as chairman. He blamed “left-wing activist groups” for filing ethics complaints alleging he mishandled classified information.
Two watchdog groups, Democracy 21 and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether Nunes disclosed classified information from intelligence reports.