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FILE - In this July 7, 2016 file photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Oversight Committee to explain his agency's recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton. Comey, who prides himself on moral rectitude and a squeaky-clean reputation is being criticized from all sides for lobbing a stink bomb into the center of the presidential race. Former Justice Department officials and former prosecutors from both parties have called the revelation an improper, astonishing and perplexing intrusion into politics in the critical endgame of the 2016 campaign. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Here's what you need to know before James Comey's big testimony at Capitol Hill today


UPDATE March 20, 6:58 a.m. EST:

President Trump tweeted early Monday morning before FBI Director James Comey was set to testify to Congress about alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump called the Russia "story" as "FAKE NEWS" made up by Democrats to deal with the stinging electoral defeat. 

Here are Trump's tweets on the subject.

Trump also took a dig at CNN's report on a Gallup poll.

He also launched a vague tweet about Hillary Clinton and possible Russian ties.

Original story

Following a whirlwind week inundated with intelligence news, a U.S. House Intelligence Committee Monday will investigate the extent of Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election, featuring the testimonies of FBI director James Comey and National Security Agency director Admiral Michael Rogers, according to a congressional press release.

The open hearing on "Russian Active Measures Investigation" is set to occur on Monday, March 20, at 10am in the Longworth Building.

Let's rewind, shall we?

There are many concurrent investigations into Russia's meddling with the 2016 election. Before leaving office, President Obama ordered the intelligence committee to review the hacks of the Democratic National Committee in which a trove of personal emails belonging to Hillary Clinton's campaign had been released. 

That investigation concluded, and a January report suggested that Russian President Vladimir most likely ordered the hacks to undermine Clinton's campaign.

But, other federal institutions, such as the Justice Department, the Senate, and the House--which is the focus on Monday--have also launched their own investigations into Russian interference and President Trump's claims that former President Obama had wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.

On March 4, Trump says Obama wiretapped his phones

After President Trump made unsubstantiated claims that his predecessor wiretapped him, top Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, requested that Comey inform the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism about whether the FBI is investigating Trump's allegations, CBS News reported. 

The aftermath of the wiretapping claims

Comey subsequently met with high-ranking Capitol Hill lawmakers on Thursday to brief them about the wiretapping claims. 

Another investigation led by House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, said there doesn't appear to be any evidence that Obama had ordered to surveil Trump Tower. 

“We don’t have any evidence that that took place,” Nunes told reporters in a joint press conference with Adam Schiff, D-CA, a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”

In that same press conference, Schiff made it clear that he would ask Comey for any related information in a future public hearing (aka the one this Monday).

"We will be asking the director if he has any evidence that substantiates the president’s claim," Schiff said. "We think it’s in the public interest that this be openly addressed by the director."

To make things a bit more complicated, White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited a judge who previously reported on Fox News that President Obama had recruited the British spy agency known as GCHQ to help with the surveillance of Trump Tower.

The British agency fired back, saying those claims were "utterly ridiculous." Fox News also issued a statement that said it couldn't confirm the judge's commentary.

All in all, we can expect Monday's open hearing to shed light on the discoveries the FBI has made regarding Russia's interference in the 2016 election in addition to Trump's wiretapping claims.

The hearing will be livestreamed here.

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