Affirming Flame, RussiaGate

#RussiaGate Investigation, Day 1

March 20, 2017, marked the first day of the House Intelligence Committee’s Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign.

Watch Ranking Intelligence Committee Member Adam Schiff’s powerful opening statement here:

In his opening statement, Representative Schiff (D-CA) queried:

Now, is it possible that the removal of the Ukraine provision from the GOP platform was a coincidence? Is it a coincidence that Jeff Sessions failed to tell the Senate about his meetings with the Russian Ambassador, not only at the convention, but a more private meeting in his office and at a time when the U.S. election was under attack by the Russians? Is it a coincidence that Michael Flynn would lie about a conversation he had with the same Russian Ambassador Kislyak about the most pressing issue facing both countries at the time they spoke – the U.S. imposition of sanctions over Russian hacking of our election designed to help Donald Trump? Is it a coincidence that the Russian gas company Rosneft sold a 19 percent share after former British Intelligence Officer Steele was told by Russian sources that Carter Page was offered fees on a deal of just that size? Is it a coincidence that Steele’s Russian sources also affirmed that Russia had stolen documents hurtful to Secretary Clinton that it would utilize in exchange for pro-Russian policies that would later come to pass? Is it a coincidence that Roger Stone predicted that John Podesta would be the victim of a Russian hack and have his private emails published, and did so even before Mr. Podesta himself was fully aware that his private emails would be exposed?

Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated, and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated, and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt U.S. persons that they have employed in Europe and elsewhere. We simply don’t know, not yet, and we owe it to the country to find out.

Read Representative Schiff’s complete opening statement here.

Watch the day’s complete testimony here.

Below are time-stamps of selections from testimony offered in the March 20 hearing. (Time-stamps are approximate.)

Schiff (D-CA) 57:56-1:08:36 (Obama wiretap allegation)

Himes (D-Conn): 1:08:37-1:11:50 (goes at Comey late July started investing, coord & collusion) Sewell (D-Ala, DT includes Selma) follows until 1:13:38 Schiff 1:29:15-1:31:34 (prior to this a weird exchange between Comey and Gowdie)

Schiff (D-CA) 57:56-1:08:36 (Obama wiretap allegation)

Himes, Jim (D-Conn): 1:08:37-1:11:50 (goes at Comey late July started investing, coord & collusion)

Sewell, Terri (D-Ala) 1:11:51-1:13:38

Schiff 1:29:15-1:31:34

Himes: 1:31:34-1:41:38 (Trump and Russia; Manafort & FARA)

Sewell 1:41:43-1:45:29 (re Flynn)

Schiff 2:00:42-2:03:18 (Brexit and more)

Sewell 2:03:19-2:16:07 (Flynn-RT)

Schiff 2:31:35-2:32:49 (SF-86 requiring disclosure of working for foreign power)

Carson, Andre (D-Ind) 2.32.49-2:40:10 (Ukraine)

Speier, Jackie (D-CA) 2:40:12-2:48:40 (Tillerson); 3:01:58-3:08:56 (Caputo-Stone)

Quigley (D-Ill) 3:08:56-3:15:21 (Collusion)

Swalwell, Eric (D-CA) 3:15:25-3:17:12

Schiff 3:32:46-3:49:42 (what’s sufficient to open an investigation)

Quigley (3:49:43-3:50:02)

Swalwell (3:50:03-4:01:49) (Russian cultivation of relationships; Russian surveillance; financial entanglements & tax returns; illicit relationships; Preet Bhahara; Russian trademarks; “Russia intends to do this again”)

Schiff 4:17:13- 4:18:38

Himes 4:18:38-4:20:56 (re accuracy of DT tweets going out during the hearings)

Castro, Joaquin (D-TX) 4:20:56-4:30:45 (Steele dossier & quid pro quo issues re Trump campaign and Russia; Carter Page & Flynn as “successes” for Russian co-optation; WikiLeaks; Manafort)

Schiff 4:48:47-4:50:32 (Ukraine; Republican platform)

Heck, Dennis (D-WA) 4:50;32 (closing statement, and James Comey’s and Admiral Roger’s responses)