The Latest: Senate Intel Committee has deal on Comey memos

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Posted: Jun 28, 2017 6:23 PM
The Latest: Senate Intel Committee has deal on Comey memos

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has a deal to get former FBI Director James Comey's memos of his conversations with President Donald Trump.

That's the word from Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel. He told reporters on Wednesday of the agreement.

Comey prepared multiple memos documenting conversations with Trump that made him uneasy in the weeks before his May 9 firing.

One memo recounts a February request from Trump, during a private meeting in the Oval Office, that Comey end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Details from some memos were made public in news media accounts in the days after he was fired, and Comey himself detailed his conversations with Trump at a Senate hearing earlier this month.

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3:30 p.m.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says the panel is asking states to reveal whether their election systems were hacked in last year's elections.

U.S. officials have described a Russian attempt to hack into election systems in 21 states, but the Department of Homeland Security has so far declined to say which states. The FBI has confirmed intrusions into voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said at a panel hearing Wednesday that he and the panel's Republican chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, had written a letter "to all relevant state election officials asking that this information be made public."

Last week, DHS official Jeanette Manfra said the department is tracking the meddling, but that it's important to protect states' confidentiality.

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3:30 p.m.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are requesting any secret applications for intelligence-gathering warrants that the FBI made last year as part of its investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a letter to the Justice Department on Wednesday that referenced news reports that the FBI sought warrants through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for associates of President Donald Trump.

If such applications actually exist, the senators will have difficulty obtaining them. Secret applications for the intelligence-gathering warrants are not public documents. Even when such warrants form the basis of an eventual criminal prosecution, judges have historically rejected defense requests to review the applications.

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2:47 p.m.

International elections experts are warning that the United States will get hit again by Russian cyberattacks if the country doesn't pay closer attention and work more closely with European allies who are also victims.

In testimony before the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, the experts described extensive Russian interference in European elections. They also encouraged more awareness among Americans of how Russians are trying to undermine U.S. candidates and faith in government. A former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, criticized both former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump for not doing more to publicize the problem and combat it.

Russian officials have denied any meddling in the 2016 election. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that President Vladimir Putin was responsible.