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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Comey hearing puts Rubio back in national spotlight

Sen. Marco Rubio, a committee member, maintains that the committee is the best venue to investigate Russian meddling into the election.

[Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images]

Sen. Marco Rubio, a committee member, maintains that the committee is the best venue to investigate Russian meddling into the election.

WASHINGTON - At 10 a.m. today, all of Washington — and much of the nation — will be fixed on former FBI Director James Comey and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

That spotlight will also reflect on Sen. Marco Rubio, a committee member, who maintains that the committee is the best venue to investigate Russian meddling into the election. In a March hearing, Rubio revealed that his campaign was targeted in an attempted hack.

“People ask me ‘what do you hope to hear out of the hearing on Thursday?’” Rubio said in a constituent video Tuesday. “I think the bottom line is the truth. We want to hear from Director Comey, someone I’ve had a chance to interact with over the last four years and have always admired as a professional. There’s been some things reported in the press about what conversations he may or may not have had with the president. We’re going to have an opportunity to ask him those questions and to do so in front of the American people in an open hearing. And so that’s an important moment for rule of law and for what we do here in our oversight function.

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“And so when people say ‘what’s the goal of the hearing?’ The goal is to get to the truth and to gather from him exactly what happened. We don’t want to continue to have to rely on press reports or an anonymous source that said that ‘he said.’ I think it’s important to hear directly from him and that’s what we are going to have a chance to do on Thursday when he testifies and I’m sure a lot of people will be tuning in to see what happens from that.”

On Wednesday, Rubio questioned other intelligence officials in hearing notable for their refusal to say if Trump asked them to intervene in the investigation.

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“I'm not prepared to answer your question today,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in response.

Said Rubio: “If what is being said to the media is untrue, then it is unfair to the president of the United States. And if it is true, then it is something the American people deserve to know, and we, as an oversight committee, need to know in order to conduct our job.”

The Republican National Committee is planning an aggressive counter effort against Comey's testimony.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 8, 2017 9:33am]

    

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