5/04/2017

FBI Director before the Senate Judiciary Committee


Here are two of "five takeaways" from Comey's testimony according to The Hill:


FBI Director James Comey delivered passionate and defiant testimony before a Senate panel on Wednesday that managed to frustrate both Republicans and Democrats.
The four-hour appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to be about general oversight of the FBI, but it quickly turned into a fierce relitigation of the 2016 presidential election...

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3. Comey explains DOJ dynamic: ‘I hope someday you'll understand'


Comey has long been seen as a maverick.

When he announced in July 2016 that the bureau had finished its Clinton investigation — calling the former secretary of State “extremely careless” in his summary — Comey informed then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch only that morning.

But on Wednesday, Comey repeatedly struck a conciliatory tone toward the Justice Department as a whole. He declined to answer many questions, saying he had not been authorized to do so.

That deference follows on the careful wording of his March announcement that the bureau was investigating the Trump campaign, an announcement he emphasized at the time was approved by the Justice Department.

He also gave some insight into his own personal conflict on the morning of the explosive July press conference where he announced that he wouldn't recommend criminal charges against Clinton.

“That was a hard call for me to make — to call the attorney general that morning and say, 'I'm about to do a press conference, and I'm not going to tell you what I'm going to say,'" he told lawmakers.

“I said to her, ‘I hope someday you'll understand why I think I have to do this.’ But look, I wasn't loving this."

At the time, Comey said, he believed that Lynch’s highly publicized meeting with former President Bill Clinton had undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of the investigation.

“Her meeting with President Clinton … was the capper for me,” he said. “And I then said, you know what, the department cannot by itself credibly end this.”

4. The FBI may be investigating internal leaks

Comey seemed to obliquely confirm Wednesday that the bureau is conducting an internal investigation into whether FBI officials inappropriately leaked information about the Clinton probe during the campaign to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), an ally of Trump’s.

Asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) about Giuliani’s public claims that agents were talking to him, Comey replied, “I don't know yet, but there will be severe consequences if people were leaking."

He went on to refer to it as “a matter FBI is looking into.”

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