James Comey Monday Hearing on Russia and Trump Wiretapping Claim: Here's what to expect


On Monday, FBI director James B. Comey will pay a visit to the House Intelligence Committee as the panel attempts to parse out whether or not there is any truth to President Donald Trump's claims that his Trump Tower home was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

While he's there, Comey, along with director of the National Security Agency Adm. Mike Rogers, will also answer questions about the role Russian hacking played in the 2016 presidential election — and the connections, if any, that exist between the Trump administration and the Kremlin. 

Although the intelligence committee has been tasked with probing for answers on Russia and the Obama wiretapping claims, FBI officials have yet to officially confirm the existence of any such investigations.

Below are a few key things to watch for during Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearing.

A denial that a wiretap existed

After Trump's unflinching claims on Twitter that Obama had enlisted federal law enforcement agencies to illegally wiretap his home, Comey beseeched the Justice Department to reject the claims, senior officials told the New York Times

According to the Washington Post, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also said during a Fox News Sunday appearance that the wiretapping claims were without merit, making it likely that the FBI director will take the easy step of denouncing the claims altogether.

Confirmation that Trump's ties to Russia are being investigated

Less likely, but theoretically possible, is the idea that Comey might confirm an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. Although news outlets have reported that such investigations do indeed exist, again, nothing has been confirmed as of yet. 

Comey has stated in the past that he "would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this," when asked whether or not Trump's relationship with Russia was being investigated. 

GOP fault lines

As the Washington Post points out, the GOP is divided on Trump, which could potentially make for an interesting line of questioning from the House Intelligence Committee's Republican members.

While Democrats will surely delve into Trump's connections to the Kremlin, Republicans asking similar questions will be openly signaling a break with party interests.