Comey wanted to go public with Russian Federation findings last summer

Posted March 31, 2017

In October 2016, the White House officially accused the Russian government of hacking and releasing emails and other information from the Democratic National Committee; in January, the US intelligence community released a report determining that Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" aimed at the USA election in order to sway the election towards Donald Trump and away from Hillary Clinton.

A second source familiar with Comey's request said his op-ed, which he wanted published in The New York Times, would not mention whether the FBI was investigating Donald Trump's campaign or others close to him for ties to Russia but would discuss how Russian leader Vladimir Putin was attempting to rig the presidential election.

In a White House meeting in June or July, Comey reportedly brought with him a draft of the proposed op-ed and presented it to top administration officials, including former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryFBI Director Comey sought to reveal Russian election meddling last summer: report Congress, Trump need a united front to face down Iran One year ago today we declared ISIS atrocities as genocide MORE and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The op-ed would not have mentioned whether the FBI was investigating Donald Trump's campaign workers or others close to him for links to the Russians' interference in the election, a second source with knowledge of the request tells Newsweek. "I want to go forward", the source says Comey said, an idea dismissed by the others.

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Last week, Comey appeared before the House intelligence committee for a public hearing and confirmed the FBI was investigating Donald Trump's campaign for potential collusion with Russian Federation to bolster Trump's electoral effort.

According to Newsweek's source, Comey's op-ed would have laid out some of the evidence showing that the Kremlin was attempting to influence the presidential election.

For months the F.B.I. and other US intelligence agencies have pushed back on accusations of partisanship.

Asked about the House and Senate intelligence committees tasked with oversight of the FBI, Comey said it was important the FBI communicate with them as best it could and said that despite partisan flareups, the process worked "very well".

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Comey has previously written to a major news outlet.

That's according to a report from Newsweek magazine.

For supporters of Hillary Clinton, news of the op-ed adds to the frustration over Comey's public disclosure of details about the investigation into her emails, including at a July press conference, but not about the probe involving Russian Federation and Trump, which began that same month.

"In general we have not been adding to the director's comments regarding Russian Federation at the March 20 hearing", an Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman said to the news outlet when asked about Comey's alleged planned op-ed last summer. A spokesman for Barack Obama could not immediately be reached.

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