Schiff on alleged Russian election interference : Circumstantial evidence of collusion, direct evidence of deception

By LOUIS FLORES

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) was interevewed on the NBC News program, "Meet the Press," on Sunday, and he previewed some of the major themes expected to be addressed when Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey,Jr., delivers Congressional testimony on Monday before the House Intelligence Committee.

The moderator of the news program, Chuck Todd, predicted that two major questions would be addressed during the Congressional testimony on Monday : Whether the Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections on behalf of the Trump administration, and whether the FBI has any evidence that Trump Tower was wiretapped, as has been claimed to have happened by President Donald Trump.

On the issue of whether there was any Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election cycle, U.S. Rep. Schiff said that he wanted to review reports of the use of hacking, document dumps, and a media campaign to allegedly influence the outcome of U.S. elections, adding that he was concerned whether there was any "U.S. person involvement" in the alleged Russian interference, noting of Russia's alleged tactics, "How they use paid social media trolls."

In the lead-up to the 2016 Democratic Party primary election, a Super PAC allied with the campaign of former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was widely reported to have budgeted at least $1 million to pay for confrontations on social media that The Los Angeles Times described in a report as resulting in an increase of "the amount of trolling that already exists online." That paid social media trolling campaign was managed by the Super PAC, Correct the Record, which was, in turn, led by David Brock, a political ally of the Clintons.

Although concerns of red-baiting have been raised about some reports about alleged Russian interference with U.S. elections, other reports have concretely reported facts about connections. According to some advocates for Government reform, the preöccupation with alleged Russian involvement in U.S. elections, reportedly to support the Trump campaign, is overshadowing the corrosive culture in Washington that otherwise permits the influence of money in politics. In the wake of the stunning loss of the Clinton presidential campaign, the Democratic Party has been reportedly described to be in tatters -- in large part over a new generational disaffection with the neoliberal economic policies that have come to be championed by Democratic Party leaders at the expense of the middle class and low-income earners, who formerly served as the base of the Democratic Party before Democratic Party leaders began to tailor the party's policies to large, establishment campaign contributors.