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Lyin' Comey Is About To Sink Even Lower

- June 13, 2018

Ahead Of The Release Of The DOJ's Inspector General Report, A Look At James Comey's Long Pattern Of Misconduct And Bad Behavior


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Reports indicate the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General has found that former FBI Director James Comey "defied authority" and acted in an insubordinate way in advance of the 2016 election.
  • The DOJ OIG's upcoming report highlighting Comey's insubordination follows a pattern of misconduct and unprofessional behavior from Comey.
    • Comey's allegation of interference by President Trump in an FBI investigation was contradicted by testimony he and others gave under oath before Congress.
    • Despite testifying in May 2017 that he had never been an anonymous source, Comey admitted in June 2017 he had used a close friend to leak memos to the press.
    • Comey repeatedly usurped the authority of United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch and relied on unverified documents to justify closing the Clinton email investigation.
    • Comey inappropriately presented and lent credibility to an undocumented and unverified dossier (later was revealed to be DNC/Clinton-funded opposition research) concerning President-elect Trump.
    • Comey testified to his ignorance of the parameters of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from an ongoing FBI investigation, despite receiving information the very day of Sessions' recusal outlining its details.
  • Democrats and the media widely criticized James Comey's conduct as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    • In late 2016 and throughout 2017, prominent Democrats publicly stated that Comey should resign.
    • Additionally, Democrats and the media have said that Comey has irreparably damaged the institution of law enforcement and called his actions unprecedented and inappropriate.

A PRELIMINARY DRAFT REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INSPECTOR GENERAL FINDS FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY "INSUBORDINATE" AND SAYS HE "DEFIED AUTHORITY" IN ADVANCE OF THE 2016 ELECTION

Early Disclosures From The DOJ OIG's Report This Week Have Found That Comey Acted Insubordinately And "Defied Authority" In Advance Of The 2016 Election

On June 6, ABC News Reported That The U.S. Department Of Justice Inspector General Found Comey "Defied Authority" At Times As FBI Director. "The Justice Department's internal watchdog has concluded that James Comey defied authority at times during his tenure as FBI director, according to sources familiar with a draft report on the matter." (Mike Levine, "DOJ Watchdog Finds James Comey Defied Authority As FBI Director, Sources Say," ABC News , 6/11/18)

The DOJ Draft Report Explicitly Used The Word "Insubordinate" To Describe Comey's Behavior. "One source told ABC News that the draft report explicitly used the word 'insubordinate' to describe Comey's behavior. Another source agreed with that characterization but could not confirm the use of the term." (Mike Levine, "DOJ Watchdog Finds James Comey Defied Authority As FBI Director, Sources Say," ABC News , 6/11/18)

The Inspector General's Draft Report Specifically Called Out Comey For Ignoring Objections From The Justice Department When Disclosing The Reopening Of The Clinton Investigation To Congress. "The draft of Horowitz's wide-ranging report specifically called out Comey for ignoring objections from the Justice Department when he disclosed in a letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election that FBI agents had reopened the Clinton probe, according to sources. Clinton has said that letter doomed her campaign." (Mike Levine, "DOJ Watchdog Finds James Comey Defied Authority As FBI Director, Sources Say," ABC News , 6/11/18)

Additionally, The Report Cited Comey For Failing To Consult With Attorney General Lynch And Other Senior Justice Department Officials Before Making His Announcement On National TV. "Horowitz's draft report cited Comey for failing to consult with Lynch and other senior Justice Department officials before making his announcement on national TV." (Mike Levine, "DOJ Watchdog Finds James Comey Defied Authority As FBI Director, Sources Say," ABC News , 6/11/18)

In January 2017, The Justice Department Inspector General Initiated A Review Of The FBI's Actions Under Director Comey In Advance Of The 2016 Election

In January 2017, U.S. Department Of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz Announced His Office Would Be Initiating An Investigation Into The Actions Of The Department Of Justice And FBI In Advance Of The 2016 Election. "Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations, and members of the public, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice (Department) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in advance of the 2016 election. Cognizant of the scope of the OIG's jurisdiction under Section 8E of the Inspector General Act, the review will examine the following issues." (Press Release, "DOJ OIG Announces Initiation Of Review," U.S. Department Of Justice Office Of Inspector General , 1/12/17)

Over The Past Year, The DOJ Has Investigated Whether Department Or FBI Policies Or Procedures Were Not Followed In Advance Of James Comey's Public Announcement On July 5, 2016, And The Comey's Letters To Congress On October 28 And November 6, 2016. "Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director's public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director's letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations." (Press Release, "DOJ OIG Announces Initiation Of Review," U.S. Department Of Justice Office Of Inspector General , 1/12/17)

The DOJ Has Also Been Investigating Whether The Department And FBI Employees Improperly Disclosed Non-Public Information. "Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information." (Press Release, "DOJ OIG Announces Initiation Of Review," U.S. Department Of Justice Office Of Inspector General , 1/12/17)

In A Violation Of DOJ Protocol, FBI Director James Comey Did Not Inform The Department Of Justice That He Would Be Closing The FBI's Investigation Into The Clinton Email Server In July 2016

On July 5, 2016, FBI Director James Comey Convened A Press Conference To Give An Update On The Status Of The FBI's Investigation Of Hillary Clinton. COMEY: "Good morning. I'm here to give you an update on the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State." (James Comey, Remarks On The Investigation Of Secretary Hillary Clinton's Use Of A Personal E-Mail System , Washington D.C., 07/05/16)

At The Press Conference, Comey Declared The FBI Was Closing Its Investigation Into The Clinton Email Server And That "No Reasonable Prosecutor Would Bring Such A Case." COMEY: "Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case." (James Comey, Remarks On The Investigation Of Secretary Hillary Clinton's Use Of A Personal E-Mail System , Washington D.C., 07/05/16)

Comey Admitted His Press Conference Was Unusual Because He Had Not Coordinated Or Reviewed His Statement "In Any Way" With The Department Of Justice Or Any Other Part Of Government. COMEY: "This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government." (James Comey, Remarks On The Investigation Of Secretary Hillary Clinton's Use Of A Personal E-Mail System , Washington D.C., 07/05/16)

Likewise, Comey, In Another Break From FBI Protocol, Publicly Announced To Congress The Reopening Of The Clinton Investigation In Late October 2016, Immediately Before The 2016 Election

FBI Director James Comey Sent A Letter To Congress On October 28, 2016, Saying The Bureau Was Investigating Additional Emails Relevant To The Hillary Clinton Email Case. "On Friday, FBI Director James B. Comey sent a letter to Congress saying the bureau is investigating additional emails that appear relevant to the Hillary Clinton email case. Soon after, he sent a note to his employees explaining his decision." (Sari Horwitz, "Read The Letter Comey Sent To FBI Employees Explaining His Controversial Decision On The Clinton Email Investigation," The New York Times , 10/28/16)

On January 30, 2017, The Washington Post Reported That The Justice Department's Inspector General, Michael Horowitz Was Questioning Why FBI No. 2 Andrew McCabe Appeared "Not To Act For About Three Weeks" On A Request To Examine New Hillary Clinton Emails. "The Justice Department's inspector general has been focused for months on why Andrew McCabe, as the No. 2 official at the FBI, appeared not to act for about three weeks on a request to examine a batch of Hillary Clinton-related emails found in the latter stages of the 2016 election campaign, according to people familiar with the matter." (Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian, "Internal Justice Department Probe Eyes McCabe's Role In Final Weeks Of 2016 Election," The Washington Post , 01/30/17)

The Justice Department Strongly Discouraged Comey From Sending His Letter To Congress Saying It Would Be A Break With "Longstanding Policy" Of Not Discussing Current Criminal Investigations. "The day before the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, sent a letter to Congress announcing that new evidence had been discovered that might be related to the completed Hillary Clinton email investigation, the Justice Department strongly discouraged the step and told him that he would be breaking with longstanding policy, three law enforcement officials said on Saturday. Senior Justice Department officials did not move to stop him from sending the letter, officials said, but they did everything short of it, pointing to policies against talking about current criminal investigations or being seen as meddling in elections." (Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Michael Schmidt, and William Rashbaum, "Justice Dept. Strongly Discouraged Comey On Move In Clinton Email Case," The New York Times , 10/29/16)

COMEY'S INSUBORDINATION DURING THE CLINTON INVESTIGATION WAS THE LASTEST ADDITION IN A LONG STRING OF MISCONDUCT AND POOR BEHAVIOR

Throughout The Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Comey Greatly Misstated "Key" Facts To Congress

Then-FBI Director Comey Told Congress That A Top Aide To Clinton Had "Sent Hundreds Of Thousands Of Emails To Her Husband's Laptop," Which Included Classified Information. "The FBI on Tuesday corrected the sworn testimony of Director James Comey, who last week told Congress that a top aide to Hillary Clinton had sent 'hundreds and thousands' of emails to her husband's laptop, including some with classified information." (Eric Tucker, "FBI Correct Comey Testimony On Clinton Aide Huma Abedin," The Associated Press , 05/10/17)

  • In Fact, Only A "Small Number" Of Emails Were Sent To The Laptop. "In fact, the FBI said in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, only 'a small number' of the thousands of emails found on the laptop had been forwarded there [to the laptop] while most had simply been backed up from electronic devices." (Eric Tucker, "FBI Correct Comey Testimony On Clinton Aide Huma Abedin," The Associated Press , 05/10/17)
  • Of The Emails Sent To Her Husband, Anthony Weiner, "Only Two Email Chains Contained Classified Information." "However, only a 'small number' of the emails were forwarded by Abedin, the letter said, even though she 'commonly forwarded emails to others who would print documents for her.' Of those forwarded to Weiner, only two email chains contained classified information." (Jessica Estepa, "FBI: Director Comey's Testimony On Clinton Aide Was Inaccurate," USA Today , 05/09/17)

Comey's Misstatements Were "Key To Comey's Testimony, In That He Used Them To Defend His Decision To Disclose The New Clinton Emails" And Were Cited As "Proof Of The Seriousness Of The Email Discovery And The Need To Say Something." "To be clear, these weren't just small details that emerged from Comey's testimony on Wednesday; they were the headline for many new outlets that covered Comey's visit to the Senate Judiciary Committee, including The Post. They were also key to Comey's testimony, in that he used them to defend his decision to disclose the new Clinton emails just 11 days before Election Day. Facing questions from Democrats about why he did what he did, Comey cited these facts as proof of the seriousness of the email discovery and the need to say something." (Aaron Blake, "James Comey Just Stepped In It, Big Time," The Washington Post , 05/09/17)

In His May 2017 Testimony To The Senate Intelligence Committee, Director Comey Contradicted His Own Claims Of Interference In An FBI Investigation

In June 2017, Comey Testified That President Trump Spoke To Him About The Investigation Of Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. SEN. JAMES RISCH (R-ID): "You wrote down the words so we can all have the words in front of us now. There's 28 words there that are in quotes, and it says, quote, 'I hope' - this is the president speaking - 'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.' Now those are his exact words, is that correct?" FBI DIRECTOR COMEY: "Correct." (James Comey, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 06/08/17)

Comey Testified That He Interpreted President Trump As Giving Him "Direction" To Stop His Investigation Into General Flynn. RISCH: "He said, 'I hope.' Now, like me, you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases charging people with criminal offenses. And, of course, you have knowledge of the thousands of cases out there that - where people have been charged. Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense, where this - they said, or thought, they hoped for an outcome?" COMEY: "I don't know well enough to answer. And the reason I keep saying his words is I took it as a direction." (James Comey, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 06/08/17)

Comey Reaffirmed To Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) That He Interpreted The President As Directing Him To Stop The Flynn Investigation. SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): "Thank you. You have testified that you interpret the discussion with the president about Flynn as a direction to stop the investigation. Is that correct?" COMEY: "Yes." (James Comey, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 06/08/17)

But In May 2017, When Asked Whether Senior Officials Could Halt A Specific Investigation, FBI Director Comey Replied That, In His Experience, He Had Never Been Asked To Halt An FBI Investigation For Political Reasons. SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): "So if the Attorney General or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigations?" COMEY: "In theory yes." HIRONO: "Has it happened?" COMEY: "Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that -- without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience." (James Comey, Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 05/03/17)

In June 2017, Comey Contradicted His Previous Testimony To Congress And Admitted To Leaking Memos To The Press In Order To Trigger The Appointment Of A Special Counsel

In His May 3, 2017 Testimony In Front Of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Former FBI Director Comey Stated He Had Never Been An Anonymous Source, Nor Authorized Someone Else To Be An Anonymous Source In News Reports Concerning The Trump Or Clinton Investigation. SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): "Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?" FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY: "Never." GRASSLEY: "Question two, relatively related, have you ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?" COMEY: "No." (James Comey, Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 05/03/17)

On May 16, 2017, The New York Times Reported The Contents Of A Memo Written By Comey While FBI Director Which Detailed A Conversation With President Trump Following The Resignation Of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. "Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo." (Michael Schmidt, "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him To End Flynn Investigation," The New York Times , 05/16/17)

On June 8, 2017, Comey Admitted To The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence He Asked A Close Friend To Share The Contents Of The Memo With A Reporter With The Hope It Might Prompt The Appointment Of A Special Counsel. SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): "Finally, did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the Department of Justice?" COMEY: "Yes." COLLINS: "And to whom did you show copies?" COMEY: "I asked - the President tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there's not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it." COLLINS: "Was that Mr. Wittes?" COMEY: "No." COLLINS: "Who was it?" COMEY: "A close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school." COLLINS: "Thank you." (James Comey, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 06/08/17)

Comey Later Struggled To Explain Why He Was Not A Leaker In An Interview With CNN's Anderson Cooper. CNN's ANDERSON COOPER: "But you did leak-you did leak memos. Is it okay for somebody at the FBI to leak something-an internal document, even if it's not classified? Isn't that leaking?" COMEY: "There's a whole lot wrong with your question, Anderson. First, I didn't leak memos. I asked a friend to communicate the substance of one unclassified memo." COOPER: "Whether you-" COMEY: "Can I finish for a second?" COOPER: "Sure. Okay." COMEY: "One unclassified memo to the media and it was really important. I was a private citizen. I was not an FBI employee at that time." COOPER: "Right. But it was an internal document and it was a document you had written while you were FBI director. That is a leak. If you tell somebody, don't give them the document but tell them what's in the document, that's still a leak, no?" COMEY: "Well, not to get tangled up in it but I think of a leak as an unauthorized disclosure of classified information. COOPER: Really? You did?" COMEY: "That's how I thought about it as FBI director; we investigated leaks. So, unauthorized disclosures." … COOPER: "So, when you were FBI director if somebody on your team had given-had given a friend documents that they were writing that you were involved with and said, oh, just tell the New York Times what's in this document, you wouldn't have had a problem with that?" COMEY: "Well, depending on what was in the document." COOPER: "But even if it's not classified?" COMEY: "Was it protected information? Was it investigative information? Was it classified information? Was it grand-jury information?" COOPER: "So, I guess I'm surprised that you only think leaks- officially, a leak is something that's classified." (CNN's "Town Hall," 4/25/18)

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During The 2016 Presidential Election, Comey Relied On Information He Seemed To Know Was Unreliable As A Basis For Closing The FBI's Investigation Into Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton

During The 2016 Presidential Primary Season, The FBI Received A Russian Intelligence Document Claiming There Existed A Tacit Understanding Between The Clinton Campaign And The Justice Department. " In The midst of the 2016 presidential primary season, the FBI received what was described as a Russian intelligence document claiming a tacit understanding between the Clinton campaign and the Justice Department over the inquiry into whether she intentionally revealed classified information through her use of a private email server." (Karoun Demirjian, and Devlin Barrett, "How A Dubious Russian Document Influenced The FBI's Handling Of The Clinton Probe," The Washington Post , 05/24/17)

On May 24, 2017, The Washington Post Reported That The Intelligence Document Possessed Played A Key Role In Comey's Handling Of The Hillary Clinton Investigation Despite Being Viewed As "Unreliable And Possibly A Fake." "A secret document that officials say played a key role in then-FBI Director James B. Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation has long been viewed within the FBI as unreliable and possibly a fake, according to people familiar with its contents." (Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett, "How A Dubious Russian Document Influenced The FBI's Handling Of The Clinton Probe," The Washington Post , 05/24/17)

Sources Told CNN Comey Felt It "Didn't Matter If The Information Was Accurate Or Not" And That He Cited The Intelligence In At Least One Classified Session As The Primary Reason He Publicly Announced The End Of The Clinton Probe. "Still, Comey did not let on to lawmakers that there were doubts about the veracity of the intelligence, according to sources familiar with the briefings. It is unclear why Comey was not more forthcoming in a classified setting. Sources close to Comey tell CNN he felt that it didn't matter if the information was accurate, because his big fear was that if the Russians released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods. There were other factors behind Comey's decision, sources say. In at least one classified session, Comey cited that intelligence as the primary reason he took the unusual step of publicly announcing the end of the Clinton email probe." (Dana Bash, Shimon Prokupecz, and Gloria Borger, "Sources: Comey Acted On Russian Intelligence He Knew Was Fake," CNN , 05/26/17)

On January 6, 2017, FBI Director James Comey Met With President-Elect Trump And Lent False Credibility To An Unverified And Salacious DNC-Clinton Funded Dossier

On January 6, 2017, Comey Informed President-Elect Donald Trump Of The Existence Of Unverified Allegations Made Against Him Concerning Ties To Russia In 35 Pages Of Memos Prepared By A Former British Spy. "President-elect Donald Trump was informed about the existence of the unverified allegations against him about Russian ties after last Friday's Intel briefing at Trump Tower on alleged Russian hacking, U.S. officials told NBC News. A senior U.S. official said that it was FBI Director James Comey himself who pulled Trump aside after the briefing and spoke with him one-on-one about the so-called 'dossier,' 35 pages of memos prepared by a former British spy for an anti-Trump client prior to last year's election." (Shawn Thew, "FBI's Comey Told Trump About Russia Dossier After Intel Briefing," NBC News , 01/12/17)

On January 10, 2017 BuzzFeed Publicized The Dossier Calling It "Explosive," "Unverified," And "Potentially Unverifiable." "A dossier making explosive - but unverified - allegations that the Russian government has been 'cultivating, supporting and assisting' President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks. The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump. Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government." (Ken Bensinger, Miriam Elder, and Mark Schoofs, "These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia," BuzzFeed News , 01/10/17)

BuzzFeed Editor-In-Chief Ben Smith Justified The Publication Because Of The Weight Law Enforcement And Intelligence Officials Placed On The Document, "Noting That The FBI Briefed President Trump Himself On The Matter." "BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith defended the website on Wednesday against allegations that it published a controversial opposition research dossier claiming ties between the Trump campaign and Russia out of partisan favoritism. In a combative interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson, Smith said that BuzzFeed made the call to publish the dossier because of the reported weight law enforcement and intelligence officials placed on the document, noting that the FBI briefed President Trump himself on the matter." (Ken Bensinger, Miriam Elder, Mark Schoofs, "These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia," BuzzFeed News , 01/10/17)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson Later Testified That The Steele Dossier Had Been Produced For The Democratic National Committee. FUSION GPS CO-FOUNDER GLENN SIMPSON: "It's been a busy time. Okay. Okay. I'm sorry if I'm not giving you a clear answer. I knew it was the DNC that we were working for." REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC): "Okay. How did you know it was the DNC?" SIMPSON: "I honestly don't -- I couldn't tell you if someone specifically said, this is for the DNC." GOWDY: "Well, how else would you know it was for the DNC? Did you read it?" SIMPSON: "As I'm trying to explain, I know -- I've been in Washington for a long time, and Perkins Coie represents the DNC." GOWDY: "So you knew it by habit and custom?" SIMPSON: "I'm -- yes." (Glenn Simpson, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence Interview Of Glenn Simpson, U.S. House Of Representatives , 11/14/17, p. 20)

  • Simpson Testified That Fusion GPS Was Paid $50,000 A Month To Compile Research Candidate Trump By The Democratic National Committee. REP. GOWDY (R-SC): "What was the budget for you to enjoy the freedom to pursue the lines of inquiry you wanted to pursue?" MR. SIMPSON: "I don't remember being given a specific expenses budget. I think the fees were $50,000 a month." REP. GOWDY (R-SC): "Flat fee, $50,000 a month?" MR. SIMPSON: "That's right. REP. GOWDY" (R-SC): "Plus expenses, minus expenses?" MR. SIMPSON: Plus expenses, yes. (Glenn Simpson, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence Interview Of Glenn Simpson, U.S. House Of Representatives , 11/14/17, p. 22)
  • Glenn Simpson Called The Information In The Dossier Not Particularly Useful In Politics Because It Contained Things You Cannot Prove. SIMPSON: "It was essentially used to inform our researcher, but because it was -and because it was human source intelligence and some of it was of a personal nature, it was not particularly useful for the kind of things that are, you know, useful in politics, which are things that you can prove, things that you can say, things that people will believe." (Glenn Simpson, Senate Judiciary Committee On The Investigation Of Fusion GPS's Activities Related To The Dossier Compiled By Christopher Steele, The Prevezon Case, And The Magnitsky Act, U.S. Senate, Testimony , 08/22/17, p.114)

In An Interview With Fox News, Comey Appeared Not To Know The Fusion GPS Dossier Had Been Funded By The DNC Even Months After Its Origin Had Been Exposed. FOX's BRETT BAIER: "When did you learn that the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign had funded Christopher Steele's work?" COMEY: "Yeah, I still don't know that for a fact. I knew it was funded first by republicans." BAIER: "But that's not true." COMEY: "I'm sorry?" BAIER: "That's not true the dossier that Christopher Steele's worked on was funded by Republicans." COMEY: "My understanding was the activity that was begun that Steele was hired to look into was first funded by Republicans and then picked up -- important thing was picked up by Democrats opposed to Donald Trump." (Fox News' "Special Report," 4/26/18)

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Despite Being Given A Detailed Memorandum The Day Of Attorney Jeff Sessions' Recusal From The Russia Investigation, FBI Director Comey Wrongly Testified He Had No Outline Concerning The Parameters Of Sessions' Recusal

On March 2, 2017, Trump Administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions Recused Himself From Any Investigations Of The Trump Campaign Due To His Involvement Within The Campaign. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he will recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, which would include any Russian interference in the electoral process. (Karoun Demirjian, Ed O'Keefe, Sari Horwitz, and Matt Zapotosky, "Attorney General Jeff Sessions Will Recuse Himself From Any Probe Related To 2016 Presidential Campaign," The Washington Post , 03/02/17)

On June 8, 2017, Comey Testified That Neither The Attorney General Nor The Department Of Justice Had "Outlined The Parameters" Of The Attorney General's Recusal From The Russia Investigation . SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): "... OK. So was there any kind of memorandum issued from the attorney general or the Department of Justice to the FBI, outlining the parameters of his recusal?" COMEY: "Not that I'm aware of." HARRIS: "And do you know if he reviewed any FBI or DOJ documents pertaining to the investigation before he was recused?" COMEY: "I don't. I don't know." HARRIS: "And after he was recused, I'm assuming it's the same answer." COMEY: "Same answer." (James Comey, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing , 06/08/17)

On June 8, 2017, The Department Of Justice Released A Statement Asserting That The Attorney General's Chief Of Staff Sent An Email On March 2, 2017 "Specifically Informing" FBI Director Comey And Other Department Officials Of The Parameters Of The Attorney General's Recusal. "However, on March 2, 2017, the Attorney General's Chief of Staff sent the attached email specifically informing Mr. Comey and other relevant Department officials of the recusal and its parameters, and advising that each of them instruct their staff 'not to brief the Attorney General about, or otherwise involve the Attorney General in, any such matters described.'" (Press Release, "Statement On Testimony Of Former FBI Director James Comey," U.S. Department Of Justice , 06/08/17)

THERE IS WIDESPREAD AGREEMENT AMONG DEMOCRATS AND THE MEDIA COMEY ACTED UNPROFESSIONALLY AS FBI DIRECTOR

Following The 2016 Election, Numerous Democrats Called For Comey To Be Fired Or To Resign For His Actions

On November 2, 2016, Democratic Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Said Comey Made Mistakes And Was Perhaps "Not In The Right Job." DEMOCRATIC MINORITY LEADER REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): "So I think he made a mistake and these jobs, if you're not in it for a while, you can't take the heat and I think he just couldn't take the heat from the Republicans. It's really unfortunate because I do believe he is a good person Maybe, he's not in the right job." (CNN's "The Situation Room," 11/02/16)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Told MSNBC "Of Course" He Believed Jim Comey Should Resign. MSNBC's JOY REID: "Do you believe Jim Comey should resign Senator Reid?" SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): "Of course, yes." (MSNBC's "AM Joy," 12/10/16)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Stated That, In Light Of Comey's Actions In 2016, It "Would Not Be A Bad Thing For The American People" If Comey Stepped Down. ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "Should he step down?" SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): "I think he should take a hard look at what he's done and I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down." (ABC's "This Week," 01/15/17)

In November 2016, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Said He Did Not Have Confidence In Comey Any Longer, And Called His Actions "Appalling." "Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), the soon-to-be-top-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on Wednesday that he's lost faith in James Comey following the FBI director's handling of newly discovered emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton. 'I do not have confidence in him any longer,' Schumer told Bloomberg News. He went on to call Comey's letter to members of Congress, which alerted them to the discovery of emails that may or may not be pertinent to the FBI's prior investigation into Clinton's private email server, 'appalling.'" (Sam Stein, "Chuck Schumer Says He's Lost Confidence In James Comey," Huffington Post , 11/2/16)

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) Told CNN's Erin Burnett, Comey Had "Taken Enough Actions That Call Into Question His Ability To Continue To Serve Credibly." CNN's ERIN BURNETT: "I was saying that you were at the hearing obviously with James Comey. Some people were in the room, one of them came on the show, we're talking about your altercation I guess, the dispute you had with them. You had a lot of questions. You felt the FBI failed to alert you about the hacks. There had been some, The Wall Street Journal by the way among them, said Jim Comey needs to go and he's to resign or Donald Trump need to fire him. Do you agree?" REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): "I think Director Comey has taken enough actions that call into question his ability to continue to serve credibly." (CNN's "Erin Burnett Outfront," 01/17/17)

In January 2017, Ranking Member Of The Committee On Oversight And Government Reform Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Said The "Jury Is Out" On Whether Comey Was Fit To Continue Leading The FBI. "'I think this is a point in the FBI's history where we've got to have a mirror put up to the organization to make sure it maintains its credibility and that it is the elite of the elite,' Cummings said. As to whether Comey was fit to continue leading the bureau, Cummings said that 'before...there was no jury in my mind. Now there is a jury in my mind, and the jury is out.'" (Karoun Demirjian, "Democrats Accuse FBI's Comey Of Stonewalling On Trump-Russia Ties," Chicago Tribune , 1/13/17)

  • Cummings Stated About Comey In January 2017 That He Was "Extremely Concerned - Extremely," About The FBI Under Comey's Leadership. "Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, delivered a similar condemnation. 'I'm extremely concerned - extremely,' he said." (Mike Lillis and Katie Bo Williams, "Dems 'Outraged' With Comey After House Briefing," The Hill , 1/13/17)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Said That Given Comey's Actions, If Hillary Clinton Won The White House "She Should Have Fired Him." MSNBC's PETER ALEXANDER: "Understood. So if Hillary Clinton had won the White House, would you have recommended that she fire FBI Director James Comey?" REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): "Well, let me tell you something. If she had won the White House, I believe that given what he did to her, and what he tried to do, she should have fired him. Yes." (MSNBC's "MSNBC Live With Peter Alexander," 05/10/17)

Many Prominent Democrats Said Comey Damaged The Institution Of Law Enforcement In The United States And The Reputation Of The FBI

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) Called Comey's Actions During The Campaign One Of The "Lowest Moments In The History Of The FBI" And Compared Them To The Wiretapping Of Civil Rights Icon Martin Luther King, Jr. SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): "I think [the letter] will go down as probably the lowest moment in the history of the FBI, probably next to the decision of J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Martin Luther King." (CNN's " New Day," 5/05/17)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Said Comey's Actions During The Election Had "Damaged The Institution Of Law Enforcement" In The Country. SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): "I certainly it damaged the institution of law enforcement in this country. I certainly think it changed a little bit the momentum in the race. I think it blunted some of Hillary Clinton's momentum. I don't think it changed the fundamentals of who is fit to be president." (MSNBC's "Meet The Press Daily," 11/04/16)

On October 29, 2016, Former Governor Howard Dean Tweeted That FBI Director Comey's Reopening Of The Clinton Investigation "May Have Destroyed The Credibility Of The FBI Forever." (Howard Dean, Twitter Feed , 10/29/16)

Democrats Were Highly Critical Of Comey As FBI Director, Calling His Actions During The 2016 Election "Astonishing," And "Unjustified"

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Wrote In Her Book That Comey Had "Badly Overstepped His Bounds." "'My first instinct was that my campaign should hit back and explain that Mr. Comey had badly overstepped his bounds,' she wrote in the book, her attempt to make sense of her electoral defeat by Donald J. Trump. But, she said, her campaign advisers talked her out of it, convincing her that it was better 'to just let it go and try to move on.'" (Mark Landler, "Hillary Clinton, In Book, Regrets Not Striking Back At James," The New York Times , 09/07/17)

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) Said Comey's "Performance During This Last Presidential Campaign Raised Serious Questions About His Conduct As An Investigator And A Prosecutor." "Durbin also said he is now unsure whether FBI Director James Comey would marshal a sufficient inquiry. He cited Comey's handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server as the root of his doubts - specifically, his decision to publicly remonstrate Clinton even as he announced the FBI's recommendation that she not be charged. 'I enthusiastically supported him as director of the FBI,' Durbin said of Comey. 'I've had hearings with him; I've always been impressed with his knowledge and never questioned his integrity. But I'll tell you, his performance during this last presidential campaign raised serious questions about his conduct as an investigator and a prosecutor.'" (Ned Resnikoff, "Top Senate Democrat Says GOP Leaders Lack The Will For A Serious Russia Inquiry," ThinkProgress , 1/13/17)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Said She Was "Shocked" By Comey's Letter To Congress And That His Actions Were Being Used For "Political Purposes." "I was shocked to read Director Comey's letter in which he indicated 'the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation. … Without knowing how many emails are involved, who wrote them, when they were written or their subject matter, it's impossible to make any informed judgment on this development. However, one thing is clear: Director Comey's announcement played right into the political campaign of Donald Trump, who is already using the letter for political purposes. And all of this just 11 days before the election." (Press Release, "Feinstein Statement On Clinton Emails," Sen. Dianne Feinstein , 10/28/16)

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) Said James Comey "Showed A Grave Lack Of Judgment" And "Did A Disservice To The United States Of America" Through His Letter To Congress. SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): "Well, I really think that it was a big impact on the election. I don't have any, obviously, data to back that up, and hopefully through an analysis we'll see. But clearly our Senate candidates and our presidential candidates were surging - or at the time that news came, it sucked the momentum out a lot of those races. And we think it could likely affect the outcome of some very tight Senate races as well. It's unfortunate that he would break with precedent. It's - to me, it showed a grave lack of judgment, to put something like that into an election days before it would come to pass. And I think he did a disservice to the United States of America." (Cory Booker, Remarks On NPR's 'All Things Considered' , 11/8/16)

Ranking Member Of The Senate Committee On Foreign Relations Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) Sent A Letter To Attorney General Loretta Lynch Saying Comey's Actions Broke With The Longstanding Tradition Of The FBI Of "Exercising Extreme Caution In The Days Leading Up To An Election." "This letter is troubling because it is vaguely worded and leaves so many questions unanswered. It is not clear whether the emails identified by the FBI are even in the custody of the FBI, whether any of the emails have already been reviewed, whether Secretary Clinton sent or received them, or whether they even have any significance to the FBI's previous investigation. The letter is also troubling because it breaks with the longstanding tradition of Department of Justice and the FBI of exercising extreme caution in the days leading up to an election, so as not to unfairly influence the results." (Sens. Carper, Leahy, Feinstein, and Cardin, Letter To Attorney General Loretta Lynch , 10/29/16)

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) Said Comey Made A "Serious Error In Judgement," And Did Not Have A Good Reason To "Violate DOJ Policy." CNN'S WOLF BLITZER: "Some of your Democratic colleagues have now publicly called on the FBI director, James Comey, to resign. Are you among them?" REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): "I'm not. But I do think this was a very serious error in judgment. And you know, as someone who has had a high opinion of the director, I was very surprised to see it. And -- and I can only think that he thought this was in the best interests of the bureau, not to be accused after the election of hiding something. But this clearly was not in the public interest. And if you're going to violate DOJ policy, you need a darn good reason for it, and you better have something to say. And here, there wasn't a good reason for it, and he had nothing to say. This letter just raised far more questions than any could answer." (CNN'S "The Situation Room," 10/31/16)

Comey Has Been Widely Criticized By The Media For His Sanctimonious Attitude, Love Of The Political Spotlight, And Petty, Inappropriate And Unethical Decisions

Politico 's Senior Media Writer Jack Shafer Said Comey Had Drenched His Public Discourse With The "Stink Of Sanctimony." " Having used both his book, A Higher Loyalty, and his interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos to portray himself as the defender of truth, the paragon of integrity, the embodiment of ethical values and principles and as someone guided by a steady moral compass, former FBI Director James Comey has drenched the public discourse with the stink of sanctimony." (Jack Shafer, "James Comey Is Doing It Wrong," Politico , 04/16/18)

Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta Said It Was Comey's "Arrogance That Lead Him To Make A Very Bad Error Of Judgement." CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN JOHN PODESTA: "I have done interviews since the election. I have never attacked Mr. Comey for trying to do something for a partisan reason. I think it was to some extent his arrogance that lead him to make a very bad error of judgement." (CNN's "Wolf" 04/17/18)

The Wall Street Journal : Even Comey Himself Admits He Has "Long Worried About [His] Ego." "He rejects the notion that 'I am in love with my own righteousness' yet notes that 'I have long worried about my ego.'" (Carlos Lozada, "In His New Book, James Comey Calls For 'Ethical Leadership.' But Does He Live Up To It?" The Wall Street Journal , 04/14/18)

The Boston Herald: Almost Everything Comey Says Is "Blanketed In Hefty Self-Importance…" "That Comey's bizarre diatribes contain more 'norms' than a 'Cheers' marathon is notable enough but that almost everything he says is blanketed in hefty self-importance tells us more about the man." (Editorial Staff, "Editorial: James Comey Promotes Book, Self," Boston Herald , 04/17/18)

MSNBC Justice And Security Analyst Matthew Miller Said It's Always Been True That Comey Was "A Bit Of A Show Boat." MSNBC's JUSTICE AND SECURITY ANALYST MATTHEW MILLER: "Look, one of the things that the President got right about Jim Comey is that he's a bit of a show boat. That's always been true about Comey. I don't think it was a good idea for him to write those passages in this book." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe" 04/17/18)

Aaron Blake Of The Washington Post: Comey Seemed "Unconcerned With Appearing Vindictive And Even Petty." "At other junctures, Comey seemed almost unconcerned with appearing vindictive and even petty." (Aaron Blake, "The Guy Who Predicted Comey's Memos Thinks Comey May Be Trying To Take Down Trump," The Washington Post , 05/17/17)

The New York Times' Julie Davis: Comey Has Said Some Things About The President That Were "Pretty Petty." THE NEW YORK TIMES' JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: "But he clearly has a point of view and he's taking sides and he said some things about the president that were pretty petty about his hairdo and the size of his hands and his orange face with the tanning salon cups, potentially." (CNN's "Inside Politics," 04/16/18)

James Freeman Assistant Editor Of The Wall Street Journal Said The "American Experiment Couldn't Survive" If Every Employee Adopted James Comey's Approach. "The American experiment couldn't survive if every employee in the executive branch adopted James Comey's approach and asserted an authority separate and superior to the duly-elected President." (James Freeman, "For Comey And Country," The Wall Street Journal , 04/16/18)

  • Freeman: "Thank Goodness" Comey "Not Longer Holds Any Police Power." "Thank goodness a man who presumes to tell American voters they have a duty to vote against a particular political candidate no longer holds any police power." (James Freeman, "For Comey And Country," The Wall Street Journal , 04/16/18)

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