Appearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Monday morning, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the Bureau is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including potential involvement on the part of the Trump campaign.
“As you know, our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations,” Comey said. He continued:
"But, in unusual circumstances, where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so, as Justice Department policy recommends. This is one of those circumstances.
I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI and part of our Counter-Intelligence Commission is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between the individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."
Comey told committee members that, because the investigation is “open and ongoing,” he would be limited in providing further details in a public setting. He promised further details in a future classified briefing to Congress.
The hearing was widely anticipated by members of Congress, some of whom have expressed frustration with Comey's reluctance to provide details on the investigation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded to the news in a statement calling for the FBI to pursue a “fair, independent, and impartial” investigation.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to push back against claims of collusion before the hearing.
The revelation will have major implications for the Senate and House committees that are currently conducting investigations into the matter.
When asked how long investigations like this usually take to reach a conclusion, Comey responded, “There is no usually."
Editor's Note: This story was updated following publication.