Rep. Adam Schiff opens security hearing with a list of what we know—and it's amazing

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) provided a calm, measured opening statement for the security hearing. In doing so, Schiff went through a list of the things we know including actions of Flynn, Gordon, Manafort, Sessions and Page. A list so long that hearing it all together sounded very much like an indictment.

In running through the lengthy set of connections, perhaps the most amazing thing was that Schiff drew on already public, already confirmed information. J. D. Gordon has confirmed the Trump team's actions in making the RNC platform more friendly to Russia. Flynn did lie, repeatedly, about both the frequency and nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador, as well as the payment by Russian sources. Sessions lies before the Senate committee. It was extensive, but it wasn't speculation.

It was also interesting that Schiff brought up the dossier compiled on Trump by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Schiff introduced the dossier in noting the remarkable similarity between the statements made regarding a deal involving Carter Page and the Russian state oil and gas agency, and an actual deal that subsequently occurred. Even though Schiff didn't directly raise the well-known claims the dossier makes against Trump, his example showed that information in the dossier seems to be accurate on those points we can check.

Schiff closed with a note that everything he brought up could be only coincidence, but if so, it was certainly a long line of coincidences.

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Rep. Adam Schiff’s short speech crisply lays out the evidence connecting Trump and Russia

When news began trickling out, months ago, that Russia may have tried to influence the American election, the actual news in the U.S. quickly became something akin to a Cold-war era spy novel.

There’s now a vast web of circumstantial evidence and questions surrounding the Trump administration’s alleged contacts with Russian state actors during the campaign, most of which leaked out over months. And for many people, the web of allegations and the Trump administration’s frequently shifting official story has been very difficult to follow.

On Monday, FBI director James Comey testified in front of the House Intelligence committee as part of Congress’ ongoing investigation in the matter. Before his testimony, the committee’s ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (CA) laid out of all of the circumstantial evidence that has built up so far connecting the Trump campaign to Russian state actors seeking the intervene in the election.

Schiff emphasizes in his opening that he is drawing only on public reports, not all of which have been confirmed. His opening statement, however, is a good summary of everything that has come out so far.


Ex-Trump Adviser Stone: Schiff Engaging in 'Fear Mongering'

Conservative lobbyist and consultant Roger Stone said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was engaging in "the worst kind of red baiting" and fear mongering regarding comments he made about him during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, The Hill reported.

"It's the new McCarthyism, and it's mudslinging," Stone said on SiriusXM radio's "The Wilkow Majority."

"Any inference that my brief and now totally public exchange with Guccifer 2, who is alleged to be a Russian asset, is A) benign in its content, and more importantly, takes place at a time after the hacking and publication of the DNC documents by WikiLeaks.."

Stone's name came up during an exchange between Schiff and FBI Director James Comey. Schiff asked Comey whether he read any press reports on Stone "proudly" boasting of engaging in political dirty tricks and whether he was aware Stone was in communication with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker believed to be a front for Russian intelligence.

Comey's answer was the same for both questions: "I'm not going to talk about any particular person here today, Mr. Schiff."

Stone, who was a former campaign adviser to Trump, openly admitted to having communication with Guccifer, but also stated Monday that the interaction "does not constitute collusion."

"I had no contact with Russians. This one has been manufactured by the intelligence service with an assist from [George]  Soros and [David] Brock," Stone added. "I'm not gonna stop fighting for Donald Trump, nor are they going to silence me. I am anxious to go to the committee. Let's see if they can handle the truth."

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