From Twitter

Live Blog: The House Intelligence committee holds hearing on Russiagate

 

March 19th  11:59pm

Greetings!

Tastie Fish will be conducting a live blog on Monday, March 20th that will cover the much anticpated House Intelligence Committee’s hearing on Russia’s penetration of our national election, as well as a comprehensive review of all the evidence that the Trump campaign was in league with the Kremlin.

President Trump’s ill timed wiretapping claims will also be examined, and most likely debunked, which is going to drive the President crazy.

Trump will struggle to watch these hearings and not lash out, this confrontation will be fought on a variety of fronts.

FBI Director James Comey will testify, and his testimony could shake the country to it’s core, Trump has been at odds with the FBI for months, Commey’s contribution will cause waves no matter what he says.

Fired Attorney general Sally Yates, who was dismissed by President Trump during the Monday night massacre, will make her first public statements since she was fired, and will for certain provide intriguing insight into what the White House knew, and when they knew it.

Yates is seen as hero to many, her unjust dismissal was an unintended battle cry for the opposition, and there is few people in the country with the information and the motivation to smash the Trump administration to pieces the way Sally potentially could at this hearing.

There is also questions about Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, WikiLeaks, clandestine meetings, sweet heart deals, handshake diplomacy.

The key players in the scandal are ducking the hearing, but they won’t be able escape the heat that will be dropped in session.

The truth might even come out, who knows?!

On top of all this drama, there is evidence of Russian collusion that the general public is not even aware of, it could be an eye opening experience.

Or it could be nothing.

Hearings like this provide a tremendous service to democracy, tomorrow could prove to be a watershed moment in American history.

We will be there to cover it every step of the way!

Be sure to check in with this post as the day unfolds!

March 20th 9:57am

The hearings are set to commence in two minutes! FBI director James Comey will appear any moment now. The images of the hearings are incredible, a large media contingent has shown up for a hearing that could prove to be electrifying.

Or it could be nothing.

But if the FBI director confirms a criminal investigation into the Trump campaign for illegal ties to Russia, this day is going to spiral out of control.

Tastie Fish will also keep close watch over President Trump’s twitter account, depending on what goes down at the hearing, it could be quite active today.

March 20th 10:27am

The hearing has kicked off.

It has mostly been opening statements, but ranking member Adam Schiff laid it down during a length 20 minute examination of Russian involvement in our election.

He cited news reports, intelligence assessments, and other circumstances we were not aware of yet.

The director of the NSA is speaking now, and he will refuse to discuss “certain matters in session”.

The NSA has “a long policy of not disclosing classified information”.

The NSA director is bloviating about why he is unable to testify on the record during an ongoing investigation, but he refuses to confirm any investigation.

FBI Director James Comey looks uncomfortable.

But we do have confirmation the NSA and the FBI are working together.

March 20th 10:37am

FBI Director James Comey has confirmed a criminal probe into the Trump administration, which makes surveillance of the entire campaign possible.

A dramatic moment, one that the President will be forced to respond too.

Comey would not confirm any aspects of the investigation, only that it’s ongoing, and President Trump’s team is being probed for illegal ties to Russia.

This confirmation will make serious waves, because Trump might be compelled to testify, as well as Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and anyone else associated with this scandal.

From CNN

The NSA director just confirmed that any information that has been collected could have been the result incidental collection, such as Flynn’s conversation with the Russian Ambassador

March 20th 10:51am

The NSA Director is being questioned up and down, and he is being evasive, he seemingly has no interest in providing the American public with the information we are seeking.

The Republicans are focusing on the leaks to the press, not Russia, or Trump, and the hearing has been surprisingly more about journalism as oppose to espionage.

James Comey went five miles out of his way to let everyone know that the people behind the leaks will be prosecuted, but he refused to say what would happen to Trump officials if they are found guilty of treason.

From CNN

The Republicans on the committee are attempting to divert the issue, they are threatening current government employees who might be leaking information.

“Punishable by up to 10 years in jail”.

This is ridiculous, scolding members of the intelligence community is not why we are here today.

But the NSA director did testify that FISA is an important tool in keeping America safe, so if Trump is being watched, it’s being done in the interest if the American people.

From CNN

March 20th 11:02am

Finally, Adam Schiff is questioning James Comey about Trump’s wiretapping allegation.

“With respect to the Presidents tweets, I have no information that supports those tweets, the Justice Department has asked me to share with you that they have no evidence that supports those tweets”

Schiff asked Comey if he engaged in MaCarthyism

“I don’t participate in any isms”

Comey is refusing to testify about anything related to a potential Trump investigation, which is tacit confirmation that Trump is under the gun, and so are his people.

From CNN

Schiff, and the intelligence Democrats are really putting Comey on the spot, and he is refusing comment on anything, and the more he evades, the worse Trump looks.

March 20th 11:19am

Senator Gowdy of South Carolina  is producing the most shocking behavior of the hearing, he is suggesting that reporters should be arrested for publishing classified information, which is unconstitutional.

From Twitter

He is implying that he will prosecute reporters that publish sourced information.

You get the sense President Trump influenced some of this questioning.

March 20th 11:32am

The hearing is totally focused on the actions of federal employees who are leaking information to the press, the Republican agenda is clear, they want to go after the people that are informing the public of the truth, the hearing is taking on a scary feel.

This is a direct attack on the freedom of the press, and it will be paramount that the testimony in this hearing be addressed legally.

James Comey, who is still testifying, refused to confirm if he briefed President Obama on the alleged actions of Michael Flynn, and his questionable ties to Russia, and his subsequent conversations with his Russian counterparts.

From CNN

He again is refusing to answer, and the committee is starting to get frustrated.

James Comey is assuring the American people that the public disclosure is “highly unusual”, and it appears that answer is not good enough for Senator Gowdy.

He is going after the FBI director with abandon.

From CNN

Schiff is now back on the mic, and he is grilling Comey about the actions of Roger Stone, and his supposed interaction with Gucifer 2.0, the agent that acted in the interest of the Russian Federation.

Schiff is also asking him if he is aware of Roger Stone’s connection with WikiLeaks, and his advance knowledge of the Pondesta email leaks days in advance.

From CNN

To all of those questions, Comey refused to comment because it pertains to an ongoing investigation.

Connecticut Senator Himes is now cross examining James Comey, and he is asking about the actions of President Trump.

Why he will attack everyone and anything under the sun but refuse to attack Putin.

Why Paul Manafort was paid $13 million to lobby for a pro Russian government in Ukraine.

Why there is so many odd and “weird” connections between the Kremlin, and Trump campaign staff.

To all questions, Comey refused to comment on an ongoing investigation, which is feeding the tension, because the FBI director is acting like a man that is going after criminals, and does not want to give them a heads up.

From CNN

March 20th 12:01pm

Senator King of New York is now has the floor.

He is asking the FBI director to respond to a report that there isn’t evidence of Russian cooperation with the Trump campaign.

Both Comey, and the NSA director refused to answer, but it was an important question.

Because if false reports are out there regarding evidence, the FBI needs to produce it sooner than later.

King feels the Russians could be attempting to discredit the investigation, and that the FBI is on the clock to maintain confidence in our Democracy.

For whatever reason, James Comey has no issue talking about Putin’s motivations for this, but he won’t provide specific examples that support his assertions.

Comey is pretty much taking the 5th, it’s doubtful he will divulge information that we are not already aware of.

Senator Sewell is now putting Michael Flynn on the spot.

Terri Sewell is asking legitimate questions about Michael Flynn, and she feels his record of lying, withholding information, and accepting money is worthy of a criminal investigation.

From CNN

She believes there was “criminal intent”.

Wow, it’s the first time we have heard a high ranking politician call for a criminal investigation in to Flynn, and she did it in sensational fashion, tracing the entire timeline of Flynn’s actions going all the way back to July.

Flynn will most likely be compelled to testify, and based on the FBI’s reaction to Sewell’s questioning, it’s possible that Flynn is cooperating with investigators.

It would make sense of the fact that he has not been taken into custody yet.

Also, my source at the Washington Post just texted me, and told me that Comey’s testimony implies the President might have committed an impeachable offense.

Trump took an oath of office, and by spewing his wiretapping claims, he has violated that oath according to my friend.

These hearings will have “lasting implications”.

The text shook me up, because this man has been covering politics for over 25 years.

From CNN

March 20th 12:35pm

Terri Sewell is predictably taking heat on social media for her pointed line of questioning to FBI Director Comey.

What all these keyboard warriors do not realize, is that Senator Sewell wants to get her examination on the record, so the FBI has no excuse not make him the subject of a criminal probe, but all of that might not matter if he is cooperating.

The social media attacks on Sewell are unfair, and indicate a growing fear within Trump’s base that this hearing could be the beginning of the end.

March 20th 12:54pm

Commey just testified that the Russians were being loud about their intrusions, more than usual.

Almost as if they wanted us to know, and that it was intended to “freak people out”.

The NSA director said that while cyber crimes are not rare, the massive publishing of so much information indicates that the Russians wanted us to know.

Both directors believe the Russians will be back, in 2018, and 2020, that this was only the beginning.

Especially if they feel their efforts were successful.

March 20th 1:37pm

The committee is still cross examining FBI Director James Comey, and there is something that is becoming more and more clear.

These hearings are going to result in indictments, and perjury could be the charge that sinks most of the people that are subject to the probe, including White House staff.

From CNN

Senator Salwell, is specifically questioning the FBI director on the possibility that President Trump himself committed perjury when he tweeted that Obama was wiretapping Trump tower during the election campaign.

Of course the director declined to give his opinion, but it’s clear as day that Trump might in fact be guilty of a crime.

As I predicted earlier this morning, this humiliating hearing has the full attention of the President.

March 20th 1:53pm

Senator Winstrup, who has been attacking the media throughout the session, seemingly only has a problem with the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

He keeps labeling their reporting as fake, and inaccurate.

Even though both those newspapers both reported in advance that the FBI was probing President Trump’s ties to Russia.

Almost two months before the FBI director confirmed it earlier this morning.

From Twitter

In a funny moment, FBI Director Comey just told the committee that he is “not made of steel and that he would like to take a break”.

Fair enough, they have been grilling him for four hours!

We will be back after the intermission!

March 20th 2:16pm

President Trump has been tweeting alongside this hearing, and his tweets appear to be geared towards undermining FBI Director James Comey, and he also appears to be doubling down on his falsehood about wiretapping by pointing out that Comey refuses to admit that he briefed Barack Obama on the actions of Michael Flynn.

The implication is that Obama knew about the investigation, and somehow ordered a wiretapp of Trump’s offices.

The President does not understand that his tweets are building the case against him, as oppose to just admitting that he lied, he instead, is continuing his attacks, and they won’t slow down as this hearing heats up.

From Wiki

What is very clear, is that the FBI has evidence we are not aware of, and Trump as predicted is losing his mind over at the White House.

This isn’t fake news, this cannot be swept under the rug, this is as real as gets.

From Twitter

March 20th 2:33pm

White House press secretary Sean Spicer is currently holding a press briefing in an attempt to offset the massive damage that was done to the Trump administration this morning.

Spicer looks almost at a loss for words when asked to explain what evidence the Trump White House has that could debunk the statements of the FBI and NSA.

He also attempted to play down the pulsating nature of the scandal.

Spicer’s press junket is a clear reaction to the damming testimony being submitted during the House Intelligence session.

Spicer also claimed that Paul Manafort had a limited role within the campaign!

Is he serious?

As is usually the case with the White House, they are attempting to distract us, and that is not the behavior of honest people.

They are acting like people that are the subject of a criminal probe.

March 20th 2:49pm

From CNN

Rep Elise Stefanik is actually being objective, and she is scolding the director of the FBI for not disclosing earlier  that an open investigation into Russia, and the Trump campaign has been in motion since July.

Stefanik took issue with the lack of transparency on the part of the FBI, and questioned why Comey is only revealing the details of his machinations now.

She called for more communication in regards to this investigation, and future investigations.

Comey did acknowledge that she made a good point, but he remarked that “sometimes we like to keep it tight around the executive branch”.

Danny Heck (after being given the floor by Adam Schiff) the representative from Washington State is eviscerating President Trump, brutally summarizing the testimony, and the evidence.

He points out several things

  1. Trump never attacks Putin, but will equate our intelligence community to Nazi Germany.
  2. Trump made baseless allegations against Barack Obama over wiretapping and refuses to provide evidence.
  3. That Trump draws moral equivalency between Putin’s authoritarian Russia, and the free society of the United States.

Lets be clear, this investigation is not going to place a man or woman from a different party in office, and to respond to my colleague who implied this is politically motivated?

No, this is about Patriotism, not party. This is about country, the very heart of what this country is built on.

Which is open, free, fair, trusted elections, we do not take this investigation lightly.”

Danny Heck by far submitted the most passionate sentiments of the day, and he made it clear that the truth is going to come out one way or the other.

March 20th 3:25pm

From Wikimedia Commons

One thing about the hearing that is woefully unfair is the treatment of James Comey.

He was compelled to testify, and when he refused to compromise an active investigation, Republicans on the House Intelligence committee are accusing him of hanging a “cloud over the administration”.

But it was no problem when he did the same thing to Hillary Clinton in the 11th hour before the general election.

They invited him.

From CNN

The cloud that everyone is complaining about has been there for over a year, and it was created by President Trump, and his team.

Comey has given testimony for about 6 hours, and he has been attacked by th GOP on the internet, at the White House, and in session.

It has been depressing to watch.

Very unfair.

The hearing has now concluded!

Phew!

I have been blogging since 10am, and I myself need a break.

There is so many questions that I will address in my follow up story, among them, where is Sally Yates?

She was supposed to testify, and for reasons that are currently unknown, she did not appear.

That among other things will be covered by the website this evening.

Thanks for following!!!

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