FBI Director James Comey would not confirm whether the bureau is investigating any of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s former or current campaign workers for connections with top Russian officials.
The FBI director was questioned about any possible investigation during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, and declined to say whether agents have sought to speak with or interviewed Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort or his deputy Rick Gates. He also fended off comparisons between the bureau’s investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email system, saying the high level of detail released to the public about the Clinton investigation was disclosed due to the exceptional circumstances of the case.
“Why shouldn’t the American people have the same level of information about your investigation of those associated with Mr. Trump?” asked Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, referring the Clinton investigation.
“I’m not confirming that we’re investigating people associated with Mr. Trump,” Mr. Comey said. “In the matter of the email investigation it was our my judgment, my judgment, the rest of the FBI’s judgment was that those were exceptional circumstances where the public needed information.”
Mr. Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign in August amid scrutiny of his past work in Ukraine. He had worked for former President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who was elected in 2010. The New York Times reported that an anti-corruption probe in Ukraine found $12.7 million earmarked for Mr. Manafort on a handwritten ledger from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Party of Regions.
Mr. Manafort denied receiving a single “off-the-books cash payment” as reported, and said he’s never done work for the governments of Ukraine and Russia. He said his work in Ukraine ended after the country’s parliamentary elections in October 2014.
Yahoo News reported Friday that U.S. intelligence officials are looking to determine whether another Trump associate, Carter Page, has engaged in private conversations with senior Russian officials, including on the possibility of lifting of economic sanctions if Mr. Trump is elected. Mr. Page is a businessman who has been described as advising the Trump campaign on foreign policy.
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