What’s behind James Comey’s Congressional Testimony?
Former FBI Director James Comey testified at a closed-door hearing for members of the House inquiry into FBI conduct during Trump campaign investigations. Under Comey, the FBI investigated Trump’s alleged ties to the Kremlin.
Initially, Comey demanded on making public testimony but agreed to give closed-door testimony to the two Congressional panels under the condition that a transcript was released within 24 hours of his testimony.
During the six hour session, Comey was also grilled about his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
After the Republican probe, Representative Darrel Issa (R-CA) said Comey was less than cooperative as much as he could be. House Democrats, on the other hand, are adamant the former FBI director answered most questions.
The inquiry is scheduled to resume on December 17th with Republicans in a hurry to get answers before the end of the year when Democrats take over control of the committees. Democrats are saying they will either stop or change the focus of the investigations which they claim are designed to undermine the Mueller investigations into Russian election interference.
Lawmakers asked about what he knows in connection with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Strzok and Page exchanged anti-Trump emails while investigating alleged connections to Russia. Comey was also questioned about his dismissal.
The former FBI director was grilled on Clinton’s emails and Strzok and Page’s involvement in that investigation. Former Attorney General Lorretta Lynch is supposed to appear for a closed-door hearing next on her involvement in the Trump-Russia investigations.
With so little time left in this Congress, it is expected that questioning won’t go very far before leadership is replaced at the beginning of the year.
Comey testified before Congress at a public hearing in June 2017 and this is a last-ditch attempt to get him to answer questions about the Clinton email investigation and Steele Dossier before the turn of the year.
Is James Comey the non-partisan servant of the people he tries to make himself out to be?
Comey went on record in an interview days before his testimony saying Trump needs to lose the 2020 election at all costs.
He was asked if Trump might be an unindicted co-conspirator in the Mueller investigations. Deriding the president, he said “he didn’t know but if Trump wasn’t there, he’s certainly close.”
He topped that interview off with his hope Trump would be swept out of office without being impeached because impeachment would leave 1/3 of the country feeling their leader was removed in a coup.
In a pair of tweets, Trump accused “Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful!,”and “On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked.”
A lot of Comey’s testimony before both panels of Congress was just a rehash of territory covered in previous testimony and news interviews. There were no blockbuster revelations and with so little time left, no one should have been expecting any.
This makes it no surprise that there weren’t any real emotional battles during the testimony. Congressional Republicans get one more shot at asking the former FBI director relevant questions to gain Comey’s insight into the Steele Dossier, Clinton email, and Russia election interference investigations.
About the Russian interference investigations, Comey stated “the Trump campaign wasn’t under investigation. An investigation was opened against four Americans to see if any were working with the Russians to influence our elections.”
Throughout his testimony, Comey refuses to answer or is directed not to answer many of the questions posed by ranking members of both parties. This went on even ask questions started to be directed toward asking the former FBI director, how so many things could happen during a couple of the most important investigations in FBI history that he wasn’t aware of or took so little interest in, he forgot what happened or his own reaction to it.
Former FBI Director Comey, Assistant FBI Director Andrew Mcabe, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch all give the appearance of tainting the investigations with the bias that they are responsible for regarding the Steele Dossier, Clinton emails, or Russian election interference.
In Strzok and Page, this only amplified the tenor they saw in their bosses.
In his book, Comey goes as far as to say Attorney General Lynch appears compromised. This is saying a lot coming from the former Director.
With all the bias against then-candidate Trump, could he get a fair investigation by the Attorney General?
Now that we’ve set up the background we can look into Comey’s testimony understanding where both Congressional inquiry and his own answers are coming from. Next up, we’ll do an analysis of Comey’s testimony.