FBI Director James Comey [official profile] confirmed Monday that the FBI is investigating allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 US presidential election. His statement came during a hearing [materials] before the House Intelligence Committee [official website] and is the first time an official from the FBI has confirmed an investigation since the allegations first came to light [WH press release] in October of last year.
I’ve 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. 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.
Comey said, however, he could not disclose specifics about the probe, as the investigation was “open, ongoing” and “classified.”
Allegations of Russian connections have been a problem for US President Donald Trump’s administration in the early stages of his presidency. Earlier this month US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official website] recused himself from probes into Russian interference after it was reveal that he had met with Russian officials [JURIST reports] during the campaign. In January a group of US Senators introduced legislation seeking to make mandatory sanctions enacted [JURIST reports] in December by then-president Barack Obama.