Mystery: What was Comey’s secret briefing yesterday to the Senate Intelligence Committee about?
Reporters who cover the Senate regularly and were there after the briefing ended found it unusual and potentially significant for a number of reasons. For one thing, the briefing was long — close to three hours by one account. It was also secretive even by traditional standards: Although Comey was photographed leaving the meeting, committee members wouldn’t admit that he’d been there. And it seemed as though the briefing was urgent, with senators delaying their departure during a weekend recess to hear what Comey had to say.
From Roll Call:
Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with ex-officio member and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, huddled for a total of more than two hours on Friday with Comey.
The FBI director’s visit was not announced publicly, and it’s possible members of the Capitol Hill press corps only found out because he was spotted in the hallways and entered a secure room used for intelligence briefings.
But leaving that secure room in the Capitol Visitor Center, senators declined to even confirm the presence of the FBI director, much less the substance of the meeting.
Those who did talk generally only gave “no comments” or referred questions to Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr and ranking member Mark Warner.Not even staff were told about the briefing.
After the briefing, Rubio Tweeted thusly:
Here’s Reuters with a new story this afternoon claiming that Comey’s FBI is running no fewer than three separate investigations into Russian hacking during the campaign.I am now very confident Senate Intel Comm I serve on will conduct thorough bipartisan investigation of #Putin interference and influence— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2017
“This counterintelligence inquiry includes but is not limited to examination of financial transactions by Russian individuals and companies who are believed to have links to Trump associates. The transactions under scrutiny involve investments by Russians in overseas entities that appear to have been undertaken through middlemen and front companies, two people briefed on the probe said.”