Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

Comey: FBI investigated 4 Americans for links to Russian interference

James Comey
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey told congressional investigators Friday that in the summer of 2016, the FBI opened counterintelligence investigations into four Americans connected to then-candidate Trump to determine if they played a role in Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The big picture: Comey, who testified for seven hours before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, was unwilling to publicly reveal the identities of the four individuals. But the New York Times reported in May that four Trump associates — Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page — were all investigated by the FBI for potential ties to Russia. Manafort, Flynn and Papadopoulos have since been indicted or pleaded guilty to the special counsel for various crimes.

Trump backs off declassification demand of Russia documents, texts

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump said on Twitter Friday that he's asked the Justice Department's inspector general to review documents relating to the Russia investigation and the U.S. government's surveillance activities during his campaign.

Why it matters: This is a step back from Trump's previous demands that the DOJ declassify these documents and text messages — unredacted — with a hope that the declassification would discredit the Mueller investigation by revealing it was illegitimate to begin with. However, Trump said Friday that key allies have since asked him to refrain from releasing them, likely given the sensitive information they contain. Trump said that IG will review these documents on "an expedited basis," and that he "can always declassify if it proves necessary."

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