The long awaited official, on-record, testimony about Russian ties to the U.S. elections of 206 has begun, and FBI Chief James Comey has acknowledged, publicly, that his agency is investigating links between Russia and the Trump campaign with the aim of determining if crimes were committed before or during the election process.

“That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Comey said as he began his talks.

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The hearing before the House Intelligence Committee is the first chance many have had to ask questions about to the FBI and NSA.

Comey, though, has stated that he’s not able to give specifics about ongoing investigations. This alone would show that an investigation is underway. This is a significant moment of validation for the Democratic lawmakers who hope to¬† substantiate the rumors of collusion, and a blow to the Republican supporters of Trump who hoped Comey would come out and refute these claims.

“Many of Trump’s campaign personnel, including the President himself, have ties to Russia and Russian interests. This is, of course, no crime,” the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, said.

“On the other hand, if the Trump campaign, or anybody associated with it, aided or abetted the Russians, it would not only be a serious crime, it would also represent one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history.”

“Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated. … Yes, it is possible,” Schiff said.

“It is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt US persons that they employed in Europe and elsewhere. We simply don’t know, not yet, and we owe it to the country to find out.”

Donald Trump himself is trying to shift away from the emphasis everyone is paying to this developing story. He’s preempting the news that may or may not be released about his Trump Tower wire-tapping claims, and he’s downplaying the entire investigation into the Russian ties to the election.

As such, he was Tweeitng early this morning.

“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!” Trump wrote.

“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”