(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), have backed up President Trump's contention that he is not a target of the FBI's Russia probe:
Reading from a prepared statement last Thursday, Grassley said he and Feinstein know who the targets of the FBI investiation are; they will not say who they are; but they've heard nothing from the FBI to contradict Trump, who says he was informed three times by former FBI Director James Comey that he is not a target of the ongoing FBI investigation.
Grassley read from his statement at a May 11 business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Mr. Comey did brief Ranking Member Feinstein and me on who the targets of the various investigations are. It would not be appropriate for me to reveal those details before the professionals conducting the investigations are ready. So, I will not answer any questions about who are targets of the ongoing Russia investigations. But I will say this: Shortly after Director Comey briefed us, I tweeted that he should be transparent. I said he should tell the public what he told Senator Feinstein and me about whether the FBI is or is not investigating the President.
On Tuesday, the President’s letter (firing Comey) said that Director Comey told him he was not under investigation. Senator Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the President’s statement. Now Mr. Comey is no longer the FBI director. But the FBI should still follow my advice. It should confirm to the public whether it is or is not investigating the President. Because it has failed to make this clear, speculation has run rampant.
The intelligence community said that one of the Russians’ goals is to undermine the American public’s faith in our democratic institutions. Wild speculation that the FBI is targeting the President in a criminal or intelligence inquiry is not just irresponsible and unfounded. It provides aid and comfort to the Russians and their goal of undermining faith in our democracy.
So, what I suggest is that before this Committee does anything more on this matter, that all the Members get briefed by the FBI on what is actually going on.
Hopefully, that will help temper some of the unsubstantiated statements that have been made.
Sen. Feinstein, speaking after Grassley read his statement, told him, “I very much appreciate what you’ve said, and it’s very accurate, and we were briefed.”
Then-FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3, "We're conducting an investigation to understand whether there was any coordination" between the Russian efforts to influence the election "and anybody associated with the Trump campaign."
But at that public hearing, Comey refused to tell the committee whether President Trump is a target of the ongoing investigation, saying only that the FBI will "follow the evidence wherever it leads."
In his letter firing Comey, President Trump wrote, "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau."
Later, in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump said Comey assured him once at dinner and twice on the phone that Trump was not a target of the FBI investigation.