Despite the fact that no evidence has yet surfaced publicly linking the Trump campaign to coordination with Vladimir Putin’s election interference, FBI Director James Comey stated in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that Trump-Russia ties were indeed under investigation by the agency. Comey, who is already the most politicized FBI leader since J. Edgar Hoover, explained:
The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts.
This morning, President Trump furiously denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia on Twitter:
It is worth noting, of course, that Comey has a rather bad habit of confirming investigations into highly public figures, then later exonerating them (see Clinton, Hillary). So this confirmation that an investigation is in progress hardly condemns Trump.
That didn’t stop Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) from grandstanding about Trump-Russia ties, attempting to link Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and other Trump-connected figures with Putin, then link them directly to Trump, calling collusion “maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected.”
It’s theorizing like this that doesn’t truly help the political debate, whether such empty speculation is coming from President Trump about wiretaps at Trump Tower or from top Democrats about Trump-Russia conspiracies.