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Questions James Comey Will Face During His Senate Testimony

Much has been learned about the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe since former FBI Director James Comey last appeared before Congress.

Comey, who was fired as FBI chief on May 9, 2017, is likely to be grilled Wednesday about his decisions during the Trump-Russia probe regarding the Steele dossier and an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Here are 10 questions that Comey could face during the hearing.

What did Comey know about the Steele dossier’s primary source, Igor Danchenko?

What did Comey know about Danchenko’s FBI interviews?

An FBI special agent and an FBI supervisory intelligence analyst interviewed Danchenko over the course of three days in January 2017.

The IG report says that Danchenko’s statements raised questions about the reliability of the dossier, yet that assessment was not included in the two FISA warrants sought after the interviews.

Why did Comey fight so hard to use the dossier in the ICA?

Why did Comey use briefings for Trump and Flynn to collect evidence for Crossfire Hurricane?

According to IG reports, Comey and other FBI officials used briefings provided to Donald Trump and Michael Flynn to collect evidence for the Crossfire Hurricane probe.

The IG report says that FBI leaders approved using FBI agent Joseph Pientka to collect evidence during a defensive briefing for then-candidate Trump and Flynn in mid-August 2016. The report says that the FBI wanted to assess Flynn’s demeanor as part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Would Comey sign still sign FISA warrants against Carter Page?

What did Comey know about possible disinformation in the Steele dossier?

The IG report said that the FBI received evidence in January and February 2017 that Russian intelligence operatives may have fed disinformation to Steele, a former MI6 officer.

The report said that Steele’s allegations that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen met with Kremlin officials, and that the Russian government had blackmail material on Donald Trump, may have been Russian disinformation.

When did FBI learn that allegations about Michael Cohen were inaccurate?

Whose idea was it to investigate Michael Flynn for Logan Act violations?

The FBI was poised again as of Jan. 4, 2017 to shut down its open counterintelligence investigation against Flynn. But the bureau kept the probe open after receiving a transcript of Flynn’s phone call on Dec. 29, 2016 with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

FBI documents and other testimony show that the bureau began investigating whether Flynn violated the Logan Act during his calls with Kislyak, in which they discussed the U.S.’s expulsions of Russian diplomats over election hacking.

The Logan Act has never been successfully prosecuted in U.S. history. Flynn’s defenders have claimed that the FBI used the law to justify keeping open its investigation of Flynn and conducting the White House interview that led to charges against him.

What does Comey believe are the appropriate punishments for FISA abuse at the FBI?

Comey accepted responsibility for the failures, but chalked them up to “sloppiness” rather than something more nefarious.

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