HANNITY: Docs prove Trump-Russia collusion allegations were a hoax

WASHINGTON – Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity announced Monday documentation exists which will prove allegations that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election were a massive hoax.

“At this hour, your federal government is in possession of transcripts from 2016 featuring secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and one-time trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos,” Hannity said Monday evening during his opening monologue.

“According to those who have seen these transcripts, its contents are chock-full of clear irrefutable, incontrovertible, exculpatory evidence proving Trump-Russia collusion was always a hoax from the get-go,” said Hannity. “This includes former congressman Trey Gowdy who is now calling these documents ‘game changing.'”

Gowdy, who appeared on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo, confirmed the existence of the documents.

“Some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist. But they haven’t been made public, and I think one, in particular … has the potential to actually persuade people,” said Gowdy. “Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump or love Trump. But there is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public.”

Hannity, expressing the importance of such documents, said the findings must be made available to the American people.

“If Comey, Strzok, the highest level officials… the upper echelon, the Intel community were withholding exculpatory evidence, let me tell you this is bigger than we ever thought,” Hannity said. “It means the of premeditated fraud, conspiracy against the FISA court, that means there was a real attempt to steal a presidential election with Russian lies paid for by Hillary and an effort when they lost, to unseat a duly elected president of you, the people. Much worse than we ever knew.”

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‘GET HIM ON TAPE’: Gowdy suggests videotaping private interview with Comey to prevent leak concerns

WASHINGTON- Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Sunday suggested recording a private interview with former FBI director James Comey after Comey said he would comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena only through a public hearing.

Gowdy, who has presided over multiple congressional hearings as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that he agreed with Comey that private hearings are sometimes susceptible to leaks.

“The remedy for leaks is not to have a public hearing where you are supposed to ask about 17 months worth of work in five minutes. I think the remedy is to videotape the deposition, videotape the transcribed interview,” Gowdy told CBS, suggesting that the interview could be cleansed of classified information, then released to the public.

“I am sensitive to leaks,” Gowdy said. “I think they undercut the authenticity of the investigation. The remedy is not to have a professional wrestling-type, carnival atmosphere, which is what congressional public hearings have become.”

Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump in May of 2017, tweeted on Thanksgiving that he received a subpoena from House Republicans to testify but would only do so if certain conditions were met.

“I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion,” Comey tweeted. “Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see.”

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SPYGATE: Trump slams ‘criminal deep state’ as reports of Obama administration’s campaign spying explode

Washington, D.C. (Fox News) — President Trump blasted the “Criminal Deep State” early Wednesday, suggesting things have “turned around” in “SPYGATE,” following revelations of a reported FBI informant snooping on the Trump campaign.

“Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Minutes later, the president added: “SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!”

The president’s tweets come after reports that an FBI informant communicated with at least three members of his campaign—Foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, Trump aide Carter Page and campaign adviser Sam Clovis.

Trump then went on to quote former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who discussed the issue of an FBI informant Tuesday during ABC’s “The View.”

“’Trump should be happy that the FBI was SPYING on his campaign’ No, James Clapper, I am not happy. Spying on a campaign would be illegal, and a scandal to boot!” Trump tweeted.

The Justice Department instructed its inspector general to investigate any alleged “impropriety or political motivation” in the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election, following demands from Trump.

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes—and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” the president tweeted Sunday.

Earlier this week, the president met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray in the Oval Office, discussing the expansion of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation to include “irregularities” with the FBI or DOJ’s “tactics concerning the Trump campaign.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also said that during the meeting, the three agreed that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly would “immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with congressional leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.”

That meeting is slated for Thursday, and will be with House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, Wray, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Kelly will not attend the meeting — his role was simply to coordinate.

“If they had spies in my campaign…for political purposes, that would be unprecedented,” Trump said Tuesday during a meeting in the Oval Office with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, calling it a “disgrace.”

“I hope there weren’t,” Trump said. “[If there were], it would make every political event ever before look like small potatoes.”

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GOWDY GONE: ‘Bulldog’ South Carolina congressman says he will not seek re-election

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tough-talking South Carolina Republican lawmaker and House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday he will resign from Congress at the end of his term.

“I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political or elected office; instead I will be returning to the justice system,” Gowdy said in a statement released to the press.

Gowdy, 53, says he feels driven at this point in his life to turn his attention toward the ongoing search for justice.

“Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system,” said Gowdy. “As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.”

Known for his no-nonsense approach to Congressional issues and demand for truth, Gowdy has long been courted by his fellow Republicans to run for Speaker of the House, an offer he has often rejected.

A former prosecutor, Gowdy made a name for himself as chairman of a special House panel charged with investigating then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response to the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, during which Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and diplomatic security agents Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed.

Gowdy’s announcement sparked overwhelming response from his Congressional colleagues, who said they were sorry to see him go.

“He will be sorely missed in Congress, and I wish him and his family success in their future endeavors,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.

“I always said the reason @TGowdySC was amazing at his job was bc he disliked politics so much. Trey, thank you for your impatience, sacrifice, and fight to make our country a more just place. SC and our country thank you for your service. I thank you for your friendship,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Hayley tweeted in response to the news.

“There is a time to come and a time to go,” Gowdy tweeted to his followers. “This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system.”

“The NRCC is confident this seat will stay solidly in Republican control in November,” Stivers said of Gowdy’s soon-to-be-empty seat.

Gowdy’s northern South Carolina district is traditionally heavily Republican and includes the city of Greenville, which went solidly for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

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DOWN TO THE WIRE: Dems fight back on Republican efforts to release FISA memo as vote looms

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats on Monday stepped up their efforts to prevent House Republicans from revealing the contents of a FISA memo which Republican leaders have referred to as “shocking”.

The contents of the memo, which those who have read claim to be “worse than Watergate”, allegedly details government surveillance abuses against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and what role the now discredited anti-Trump “dossier” played in the securing a surveillance warrant on at least one Trump associate, Carter Paige. Further, it is alleged that officials who secured the warrant unlawfully failed to disclose that the dossier in question was financed by Democrats.

South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who helped write the four-page memo, said Sunday the American people deserve to see what’s in it.

“If you want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used. … If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”

Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs, also dropped several hints as to what else may be contained in the document.

“I can’t prove that they were the final decision makers,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.” “But I don’t have to. Two really important people hated (Trump) and would have done anything to protect” (Hillary Clinton).

“Did they have the power to protect her?” Gowdy asked of the FBI’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for illegally storing classified emails on a home server during her tenure as Secretary of State. “The decision not to charge (Clinton) was made even before they interviewed her. How would you like that deal?”

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said when asked about the controversy that the issue goes far beyond government surveillance of Trump. What’s worse, he said, is unlawful spying on the American citizen.

“Let the American people decide,” said Napolitano (http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/01/29/judge-andrew-napolitano-calls-release-fisa-memo-documents). “If Congress knew of the alleged abuses of FISA — that’s the government’s ability to spy on us — by the NSA, our domestic spies, and by the intelligence division of the FBI, they might not have expanded FISA the way they did.”

Rep. Rodney Davis said Monday that he, too, is for the memo’s release.

“I am for more transparency. Let’s start with four pages,” Davis, an Illinois Republican, told CNN. “Then let’s talk about releasing more.”

So far, Democrats have fought hard against the memo’s release.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said last week that Republicans on the committee are seeking to “selectively and misleadingly characterize classified information” in an effort to “protect” President Trump.

Calling the memo a “desperate attempt” by Republicans “to distract attention from the Russia probe” Schiff told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Republicans are trying to “put the federal government on trial” by intentionally making “scandalous accusations.”

Former secret service agent Dan Bongino slammed Schiff’s comments during an appearance on Fox News, however, calling Schiff “the slimiest of the slimy in the swamp”.

“This is nonsense. Trump has constitutional rights too… The government was unleashed on him during the Obama years,” Bongino said. “Schiff has lied about this memo multiple times now. He’s deliberately manipulating the American public.”

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to take a vote Monday afternoon to decide whether or not the memo should be released.

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RUSSIAGATE: GOWDY PUSHES BRENNAN FOR EVIDENCE OF TRUMP COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R), S.C., grilled former CIA director John Brennan on proof of collusion between president Donald Trump and Russian agencies to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

During a period of often heated exchanges Gowdy repeatedly pressed Brennan for hard evidence that President Trump or representatives of his campaign worked with Russia to rig the election’s outcome.

Each time a visibly frustrated Gowdy asked Brennan for a scintilla of evidence that Trump was involved in the alleged plot, or even a gesture of proof that evidence to support the allegations existed, Brennan answered with the same response: “Mr. Gowdy, I don’t do evidence.”

During one particularly tense exchange, Gowdy fired back, “I appreciate that you don’t do evidence, Director Brennan. Unfortunately, that’s what I do.”

“That’s the word we use, you use the word assessment, you use the word tradecraft. I use the word evidence,” Gowdy continued. “And the good news for me is lots of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle use the word evidence, too. One of my colleagues said there is more than circumstantial evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.”

To that, Brennan responded: “I don’t know whether or not such collusion — and that’s your term, such collusion existed. I don’t know. But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”

“That doesn’t help us a whole lot,” Gowdy smirked.

“There are a bunch of words that start with ‘C’ floating around,” Gowdy continued. “I asked you about collusion, coordination, and conspiracy, and you used the word ‘contact,’” Gowdy said. “…Contact could be benign or not benign. So was it contact you saw…what was the nature of what you saw?”

“I saw interaction,” Brennan replied. “But I don’t know. I don’t have sufficient information to make a determination whether or not there was cooperation or complicity or collusion.”

Brennan’s appearance comes as Democrats push to investigate what, if anything, Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey had to do with his investigation into the president’s alleged ties to Russia.

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COMEY IN THE HOT SEAT: FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY GRILLED BY GOWDY ON WIRETAPPING AND RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FBI director James Comey testified on Monday before the House Senate Intelligence Committee where he said his agency has found no proof to back up president Donald Trumps accusations of wiretapping by the former Obama administration.

“I have no information that supports those tweets,’’ said Comey of tweets made two weeks ago by president Trump that accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of ordering wiretaps of Trump Tower just prior to Trump’s win last November. “We have looked carefully inside the FBI,’’ and agents found nothing to support those claims, he said.

Under often intense questioning, Comey said a president has no authority to order such surveillance.

In this, the committee’s first public hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, Comey also confirmed for the first time that the bureau is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential race, including possible “links” to the Trump team.

“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,” Comey said. “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.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, however, seemed less than convinced by Comey’s testimony that his agency found no proof to back up Trump’s claims of wiretapping. He also pressed Comey to name the chief suspects in the leaks of classified intelligence information, an attempt that Comey thwarted.

In one particularly tense exchange, Gowdy, himself a former federal prosecutor, cited his own short list of suspects, asking Comey whether former CIA Director John Brennan, Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper or ex-White House adviser Ben Rhodes could have known Flynn was recorded by phone conversing with a Russian ambassador.

Comey answered that all but Rhodes would have had access to that information, the disclosing of which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.

When questioned by Gowdy, Comey refused to confirm or deny whether or not the FBI is investigating the leak.

“I can’t say because I don’t want to confirm that that was classified information,” said Comey, who had earlier admitted that the bureau is investigating claims of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“But you confirmed the investigation into the Trump camp Russia ties,” Gowdy pushed. “And aren’t these leaks a matter of life and death?”

“Leaks are terrible and taken very seriously,” Comey replied before saying “there’s a whole lot of wrong information” in newspapers,  and adding that he did not want to “compound the offense that’s committed.”

Gowdy then took the opportunity to pounce.

“In the universe of possible motives of felonious dissemination of classified material, we could rule out wanting to help the intelligence communities and the law enforcement communities those are two motives that are gone now. That leaves more nefarious motives,” Gowdy said.

Throughout the remainder of his testimony Comey was careful to avoid confirming specific details on what the bureau’s investigation into alleged Russian interference had uncovered on the grounds that the probe is “open” and “ongoing.”

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