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The hearing starts at 9 AM and I will live-tweet. Join me, wont you? We are hearing from former FBI agents who have experience with the nuances involved in Russian espionage and who House Dems believe can illuminate Mueller's Vol. 1 findings. More to come.
Hearing will be underway shortly.
The Mueller investigation did not begin as a criminal probe but a counterintelligence investigation.

But what does that mean, exactly? We'll parse this out today, Chairman Schiff says.
Vol. 1 outlines a systemic effort by Russia to interfere in 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump, Schiff says. There were more than 100 contacts between Trump campaign and Russia; some outreach was conducted in public, like when Trump asked Russians to hack opponent's emails.
Sometimes it was more private, like the Trump Tower June 2016 mtg. Or
Manafort giving polling data to Kilimnik }+ the sharing of campaign strategy etc.
Schiff: Mueller made no finding on collusion but the failure to establish conspiracy does not mean the absence of conspiracy
It may not be a crime to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, or enrich yourself with a foreign business prospect while running for president, but Schiff says its "deeply compromising."
Devin Nunes now up.
"After years of McCarthyite smears, the collusion hoax now defines the Democratic party," Nunes says. Calls Mueller report a "shoddy, political hit piece" and compares it to the Steele dossier.
The contact between Russia and the Trump campaign was "routine," Nunes says. There was no information about the "FBI irregularities which marred the investigation"
Nunes says the only people who colluded with the Russians were the Democrats. Says media has become a mouthpiece for a "cabal of intelligence leakers."

Opening remarks from witnesses coming up.
Testimony from: Stephanie Douglas, 23 yr FBI veteran; Robert Anderson used to head up branch of cyber crimes for FBI.
Anderson says he will shed light on the threats from foreign adversaries against the U.S.; cyber attacks, he notes: in the last three years,attacks have become more sophisticated, more prevalent and occur on a much larger scale.
We will also hear testimony from Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor at SDNY.
McCarthy says while Mueller report show agents of Putin's regime expressed support for Trump's candidacy, that is consistent with his motivation to spread dissent, Russia's M.O. throughout the world.
It is a mistake to allow Putin to divide us as portraying him as against one side or the other side. He' against all of us. There's no doubt Trump team wanted to benefit from opposition research, McCarthy says.
Mueller focuses on Russian hacking/dumping and social media operation but does not analyze whether financial motivations, like building a skyscraper in Moscow or Manafort's desire to make $ off Oleg Deripaska. Are these counterintelligence concerns, Schiff asks.
Robert Anderson: Russia will exploit any avenue they can if pursuing intelligence or want to extort someone into action.
That Russia launched cyber attacks is unsurprising, he adds
When it comes to those ppl in/around Trump campaign, he says, it doesnt surprise him that Mueller detailed the typical tradecraft that goes on with agents looking to infiltrate an org.
They never rely on just one "break point," he adds.
If they're looking to obtain or pass information, they'll make sure there are numerous access points to do so.
Manafort's contact with Kilimnik, his instruction to Rick Gates to provide K with internal polling data etc. Manafort believed sharing info with Deripaska would resolve Manafort/Deripaska's debts etc. soften their relationship
Rep Himes says, unlike some claims by his colleagues in the chamber, sharing sensitive polling data with a foreign power "is not something campaigns do"
Rep Himes: How could Russia's knowledge of Manafort's illicit dealings, for which he is now a tenant of the US govt, be useful as kompromat as Russians undertook a covert actions against US govt?
Douglas: They actually tasked Manafort. That's an initial test for intelligence collection. They asked him to provide the data. Polling data isn't the keys to the kingdom but it is a small step that illustrates his willingness to provide information to someone he knows...
"he is beholden to financially. He is willing to provide internal campaign information and to a person closely tied to the Kremlin."

That in itself is a great illustration of how the Russians work, she adds.
Manafoet was very "forward leaning" about making his experience, connections available to those who wanted it, she notes.
"Had he stayed with the campaign, I'm sure they would have continued to task him."
Anderson: This admin, like others, there were not a lot of people that understood the threats were real.
When Russia is releasing information through different cut-outs, like WikiLeaks, this isn't unusual. Thy want to sow the web so broad an wide, it makes it harder for intel comm to start looking at how information was got, how they are using it.
That is done on purpose. Wouldn't surprise him, he said, if there were other agencies Russians teed up to spread more information.
Tasking people, he agrees with Douglas, is the first step. It can take a few weeks to years, all depends on how they're going after a target.
Rep Quigley asks McCarthy if he would have called the FBI when a foreign adversary reached out? McCarthy hedges a little, tries not to answer directly but then concedes, yes, he would.
Texas Republican Rep John Ratcliffe: Let's talk about reasons why Russians were so successful at sowing public discord: the Obama administration decision not to advise Trump in Aug 2017 about suspected Russian interference.
OK. This statement by Ratcliffe isn't entirely honest.
Well, the Obama admin officials did openly warn of the threat.
The PR: dhs.gov/news/2016/10/0…
I'll get into this a bit more in my story, but the blanket statement by Ratcliffe is not accurate.
Now, about Joseph Mifsud.
In late April 2016, Mifsud told Papadopoulous, upon his return from Moscow, that the Russians had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of 1000s of emails.
Rep Terri Sewell, D-AL, says its clear that Mifsud was cultivating and communicating sensitive information to Pap, who by March 2016 was publicly named foreign policy adviser to candidate Trump.
Why would this raise flags? And what red flags would it raise, she asks.
Anderson: Ppl need to realize, when foreign powers are going after individuals or trying to recruit them, its not like you see on TV. The ppl that are coming for others, they will utilize individuals in academia, people in certain social settings etc.
What troubles him, he says, is when the tasking starts.
"Validating, vetting people is a big deal. They will watch to see what information is given and given to the targeted individual."
Sewell: So Pap was told about Russia's desire to release the emails anonymously. Why would the Russians provide to Pap? What may they seek to gain?
Douglas: Pap said he was of no interest when he first met Mifsud, until he told him he was involved in the campaign.
"Then there was a re-engagement after he returned from Moscow.
Pap was an opportunity to establish a relationship for the future. He wasn't a heavy player in the campaign, and while it was very early on with his assignment, the Russians knew:
"He's early on now, but he could potentially be there in the future of the campaign and we want to get in good."
Sewell: Pap also met with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials. What sort of risk does this pose?
Douglas: Obviously, pre-election, trying to set up mtg between candidate and one of our biggest adversaries, Pap putting himself in that position put the campaign at jeopardy.
I'm going to pull off live-tweeting for a bit as I compile a story. But you can continue watching here: c-span.org/video/?461556-…
STORY: Looking for perspective on the two-year Russia investigation, House lawmakers grilled two former FBI officials Wednesday about espionage techniques common to the Kremlin.
The words of former FBI official Stephanie Douglas, who studied espionage and tradecraft for 20+ years, on Paul Manafort.
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