The long-awaited Comey memos have been a point of contention in recent weeks. Since they were SUPPOSED to contain information which lead to the appointment of the Special Counsel, Congress wanted to see what was in them. (You would have thought they would have wanted to see that BEFORE appointing the Special Counsel… but this is Congress that we are talking about.)
After a bunch of missed deadlines, and a whole lot of excuses, Congress was out of patience, and had threatened the DOJ and FBI with contempt of Congress, if they did not release them. Finally, the Comey memos were released, in redacted form, late last night.
Click HERE to read the memos, as released.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) issued a statement soon after the release of the memos:
“We have long argued former Director Comey’s self-styled memos should be in the public domain, subject to any classification redactions. These memos are significant for both what is in them and what is not.
Former Director Comey’s memos show the President made clear he wanted allegations of collusion, coordination, and conspiracy between his campaign and Russia fully investigated. The memos also made clear the ‘cloud’ President Trump wanted lifted was not the Russian interference in the 2016 election cloud, rather it was the salacious, unsubstantiated allegations related to personal conduct leveled in the dossier.
The memos also show former Director Comey never wrote that he felt obstructed or threatened. While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation.
The memos also make certain what has become increasingly clear of late: former Director Comey has at least two different standards in his interactions with others. He chose not to memorialize conversations with President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, Secretary Clinton, Andrew McCabe or others, but he immediately began to memorialize conversations with President Trump. It is significant former Director Comey made no effort to memorialize conversations with former Attorney General Lynch despite concerns apparently significant enough to warrant his unprecedented appropriation of the charging decision away from her and the Department of Justice in July of 2016.
These memos also lay bare the notion that former Director Comey is not motivated by animus. He was willing to work for someone he deemed morally unsuited for office, capable of lying, requiring of personal loyalty, worthy of impeachment, and sharing the traits of a mob boss. Former Director Comey was willing to overlook all of the aforementioned characteristics in order to keep his job. In his eyes, the real crime was his own firing.
The memos show Comey was blind to biases within the FBI and had terrible judgment with respect to his deputy Andrew McCabe. On multiple occasions he, in his own words, defended the character of McCabe after President Trump questioned McCabe.
Finally, former Director Comey leaked at least one of these memos for the stated purpose of spurring the appointment of Special Counsel, yet he took no steps to spur the appointment of Special Counsel when he had significant concerns about the objectivity of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
As we have consistently said, rather than making a criminal case for obstruction or interference with an ongoing investigation, these memos would be Defense Exhibit A should such a charge be made.”
President Trump tweeted his reaction to the Comey memos:
Most other people’s reactions were similar to this:
The most puzzling part about the memos, was that there was NO “smoking gun” that everyone was expecting to read. After all, the ENTIRE appointment of the Special Counsel was supposed to be started, BECAUSE of these memos… right? Let’s all listen to James Comey’s testimony in front of Congress June 8th, 2017, to refresh our memories:
So, if there’s no smoking gun about anything that could have possibly prompted the appointment of the Special Counsel in the Comey memos…. then…. WHY do we still have the Special Counsel?? (And now we all know why Rosenstein at the DOJ kept making excuses for not releasing the Comey memos… because it was Rosenstein who appointed the Special Counsel!)
So how much longer will the farce of the Special Counsel investigation continue, now that we know there was NO BASIS for the investigation in the first place??? That’s the real question on everyone’s minds. In the private sector world, it would have been ended exactly 60 seconds after the release of the memos. But this is Congress and the Federal Government at work… so…. who knows.
MEANWHILE, Comey is in seriously hot water. You could even say that it might be scalding hot water. Thanks to his testimony to Congress last June, and his admitted leaking, he is now under the probe of the DOJ Inspector General, regarding the classification of the memos that he leaked. As a Fox News article states,
A source familiar with the probe confirmed to Fox News the inspector general is looking at whether classified information was given to unauthorized sources as part of a broader review of Comey’s communications outside the bureau — including media contact.
The developments put the ex-FBI boss in the crosshairs of an investigation just as his former deputy, Andrew McCabe, faces a criminal referral over a separate leak.
The Wall Street Journal reported that at least two of those Comey memos have been to found to contain material now deemed classified, prompting the inspector general investigation.
A broader set of memos detailing Comey’s conversations with Trump were handed over to Congress Thursday evening.
Comey has maintained he didn’t release any memos containing classified material. In his testimony last year before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he made the decision to document the interactions in a way that would not trigger security classification.
But the newly released memos could cause problems for Comey.
The Journal noted that Comey himself redacted classified elements in one of those memos, and another memo had material later upgraded by the FBI to “confidential” (a low classification level).
They apparently were among the four memos Comey gave to friend Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School.
In the seven total memos handed over to congressional committees, eight of the 15 pages have redactions under classified exceptions. They include classified information at one of the most sensitive levels — SECRET — as well as the lower level of confidential.
In one memo documenting his January 2017 Trump Tower meeting, Comey wrote that the material should be classified at the SECRET level unless the intelligence agencies thought otherwise.
“I am not sure of the proper classification here,” Comey writes, “so have chosen SECRET. Please let me know if it should be higher or lower than that.”
This, too, could be at odds with Comey’s June 2017 Senate testimony that he avoided classified material in the memos so that they could be widely shared.
The DOJ IG (Horowitz) is expected to release his full report sometime in May, in which there is expected to be an entire section of the report devoted to the mishandling of the Clinton email scandal…. so this new probe in the mishandling of classified information by Comey himself, is just icing on the cake 🙂
The fun doesn’t stop at the classified information probe of Comey, either. James Clapper is about to get in on the fun, too. In one of the memos, there is a very curious story about CNN needing a “hook” – and that fake dossier (paid for by the Hillary campaign and the DNC) was the hook they wanted. Almost immediately afterwards, the story was leaked to CNN, and Clapper is right there at the forefront of it all:
Get out your popcorn, folks! With any luck, the swamp is about to get drained… bigly.