James Comey, the former FBI director, knew that a document crucial to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server was fake and created by Russian intelligence, but it played a large role in how he approached the investigation, CNN reported on Friday. His press conference caused a firestorm of controversy and drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Russian intelligence - a claim that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had reassured Hillary Clinton's campaign that the email probe wouldn't cut too deep - had influenced Comey's decision.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has declined for now to give the House Oversight Committee documents it had requested regarding communications between former FBI chief James Comey and President Donald Trump, the head of the panel said on Thursday.
As CNN wrote, that this information influenced Comey's decision-making demonstrates how Russians were able to impact high-ranking US officials.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that the FBI is investigating meetings that President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had in December with Russian officials.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe went as far as to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday to inform lawmakers that the FBI had not been duped by dodgy Russian intelligence, according to CNN.More news: Crude Oil Drops Near USD50 Despite OPEC Extension
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Mr. Comey, is said to have expressed his concerns to members of Congress in classified sessions about what could happen if the false e-Mail had been made public.
Sources close to Comey tell CNN he felt that it didn't matter if the information was accurate, because his big fear was that if the Russians released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods.
An associate of Comey's tells CBS News that Mueller's office is "coordinating" with Comey's legal team about what he would say in public testimony before the Committee.
In at least one classified session, Comey cited that intelligence as the primary reason he took the unusual step of publicly announcing the end of the Clinton email probe.
The sources say Russian Federation is still actively spreading false information to try to undercut the probe into whether there was any collusion between the country and President Trump's campaign team and cloud the investigation.