“I don’t remember” is a full and complete defense for murder and for James Comey, who lied to America about Trump and Steele and General Flynn and others.. James Comey… A full-of-it disgrace to the Republic..
9/30/2020 Former FBI director James Comey was grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee over exactly what he knew regarding FBI actions in the early stages of the Russia investigation – but throughout the hearing claimed ignorance of virtually every act that was mentioned during questioning.
A Justice Department Inspector General (DOJ IG) report previously found that the warrant application and subsequent renewals applications for surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page contained inaccuracies and omissions and relied on the Steele dossier despite evidence that it was unreliable.
Comey opted not to deliver an opening statement Wednesday but welcomed questions. Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., got right to the point and asked what efforts the FBI made to verify the dossier.
“I don’t know,” Comey said.
Graham also asked what Comey knew about former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who has pleaded guilty after being accused of altering an email to say that Page was not working with the CIA despite the FBI having knowledge that Page was working with the agency.
“I know nothing of Mr. Clinesmith,” Comey said.
Comey passed blame for the warrant, claiming he only signed the certification for it, not the affidavit it was based on, but when asked who the committee should look to in terms of who was accountable for misleading the court, Comey again came up empty.
First Comey said to look at the IG report, but when pressed on whether he knew, he gave a familiar response.
“I do not,” he said.
Graham later discussed ex-spy Christopher Steele’s sub-source, whom the FBI interviewed. The sub-source told the FBI that the information in the dossier was unreliable and was based on rumor. Graham noted that the sub-source was known by the FBI to be a possible Russian spy. Confronted with these details, Comey again pleaded ignorance.
“I don’t remember learning anything about Steele’s sources,” he said. When asked if he knew that the FBI interviewed the sub-source in January 2017, Comey again said, “I don’t remember.”
COMEY SAYS NEW INFORMATION THAT HILLARY CLINTON DRUMMED UP RUSSIA CONTROVERSY TO VILIFY TRUMP ‘DOESN’T RING A BELL’
Asked again, Comey later said he did “not remember being told of any interview.” When asked if he should have been told, Comey said he could not answer.
Graham grew noticeably frustrated by Comey’s responses.
“Was this an important case for the FBI or was this a run of the mill thing?” he asked at one point, commenting on the lack of information Comey appeared to have.
Graham also brought up a U.S. intelligence community report that included information that salacious details about Trump in the dossier came from Russian intelligence.
“Did you know that when it came out?” Graham asked, emphasizing that parts of Steele’s dossier were believed to be Russian disinformation, yet the FBI continued to rely on it anyway.
Graham went on to cite false details in the dossier, such as a reference to a Russian consulate in Miami that does not exist, and a trip that Trump attorney Michael Cohen was said to have taken to Prague that has since been debunked.
“They never corrected all the misinformation in the dossier,” Graham said. “It was used over and over again, and they never told the court about how unreliable it was. Is that a small thing or a big thing?”
“Any time there are material omissions in an application to a judge of any kind, but especially an ex parte proceeding, it’s a very important issue,” Comey said.
Graham also asked Comey about the newly declassified information released Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.
According to the declassified information, in September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral on Clinton purportedly approving “a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections” in order to distract the public from her email scandal. That referral was sent to Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok.
“You don’t remember getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community? Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to James Comey and Strzok regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan [about] Trump…as a means of distraction?” Graham asked Comey Wednesday.
“That doesn’t ring any bells with me,” Comey replied.
Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., downplayed the FISA problems, noting that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the launching of the Russia investigation was done properly.
She recognized that the FBI made mistakes, but said President Trump and his supporters are using the Carter Page warrant “to assert that the entire Russia investigation was corrupt.” Feinstein insisted that it “played no part in the broader Russia investigation.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., acknowledged that Wednesday’s hearing was important, but claimed that the Senate has had nearly four years to enact FISA reform and that there are more pressing issues that they should be dealing with now, such as the coronavirus pandemic or even current election issues.
“There is an election coming up in a few weeks,” Klobuchar said, “and as Sen. Durbin has pointed out there are a lot of concerns right now about Russia. Not about what Mr. Comey was involved with that investigation years ago but what’s happening right now.
“We have Director Wray himself … saying, ‘Russia is very active in the 2020 election, primarily through what we would call malign foreign influence in an attempt to undermine Joe Biden,'” Klobuchar said.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, brought up past discussions he and Comey had about FISA back when Comey was first going through his confirmation process for the FBI director position.
“I trusted you. I believed that you would act in good faith,” Lee said. “When I asked you in my office and later in committee hearings–first in your confirmation hearing and then in our subsequent oversight hearings–what you would do to help make sure that the FISA process was respected and not manipulated, you gave me your word. And having established that brief relationship with you all those years earlier, I trusted you.
Lee said that now, he is “very disappointed” to find that Comey’s past promises now “seem very insincere.”
Lee then commented on Comey’s repeated claims that he was not aware of problematic actions or pertinent information when the probe was going on.
“With all due respect you don’t seem to know anything about an investigation that you ran,” he said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., however, was less frustrated with Comey’s testimony than some of his colleagues, claiming that Comey’s efforts to avoid accountability may be more telling than he intended.
“What you see here is that he is at pains to a avoid any accountability and to admit to what he knew,” Hawley said outside the hearing, “and unfortunately he’s tying himself in knots.” Hawley referred to moments from the hearing when Comey denied knowledge of information such as the political affiliation of Steele’s research.
“It’s all in the record I read it back to him, so that I think is vitally important,” Hawley said, hoping that there will be “prosecutorial efforts” taken.
Graham intends to call additional witnesses to further explore the FISA process in the Russia investigation.
Senator Ted Cruz Destroys James Comey: “You’re either deliberately corrupt or willfully incompetent…And I do not believe you are incompetent”
The disgraced former FBI Director James Comey is getting his hat handed to him today, during his embarrassing testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The hearing with the fired FBI Director James Comey, that was finally called by Chairman of the Committee Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), was long overdue.
Sara Carter reports – The hearing, Graham has said, was to gain clarity of the FBI’s decision making in the early days of the probe. Moreover, he said they would be questioning the inaccuracies in the bureau’s FISA court filings, the secret court that grants or denies the bureau warrants to spy on Americans.
The weaponization of the nation’s most trusted agencies and the warrants used to monitor a political opponent by Democrats violated the very rights our founding fathers established when the American republic was founded.
What happened to Carter Page, a Trump campaign volunteer, and what happened to President Donald Trump should never happen again. The FBI appears to have relied on false Russian disinformation planted in an ex British spy’s debunked dossier. Further, evidence sheds light on the fact that senior members of the FBI actually knew this all along.
In the first clip, Senator Lindsey Graham can be seen asking Comey if the FISA court should have been informed that Carter Page was working with the CIA before pursuing FISA applications to be used against him? Comey snapped back, saying he doesn’t agree with Graham, saying he doesn’t believe he was a source for the CIA. Senator Graham reminded Comey that have an email confirming that he was a source for the CIA. Graham blasted Comey for being the director of the FBI, yet seemingly, he didn’t know what was going on in the investigation he was in charge of.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) also blasted to Comey, explaining how he has turned out to be a dishonest disappointment.
“Before you were confirmed, you claimed the rule of law mattered. You promised you would always dot the i’s and cross the t’s. I trusted you. You gave me your word. And yet you sit in front of us today and claim to know nothing about your own investigation.”
James Comey, the former FBI director, downplayed his awareness of problems with the Steele dossier during a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Comey testified that he was never briefed on the details of an interview that dossier source Igor Danchenko gave the FBI in January 2017.
He also said he was unaware until recently that Danchenko was the subject of a prior FBI investigation.
Former FBI Director James Comey pleaded ignorance throughout a Senate hearing on Wednesday regarding significant problems with the Steele dossier, which the bureau used as part of its investigation of the Trump campaign.
Comey repeatedly told Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee that his staff at the FBI did not notify him of issues pertaining to Igor Danchenko, the primary source for dossier author Christopher Steele.
“Not that I recall,” he said when asked if he knew about Danchenko’s statements in FBI interviews in January 2017.
Comey also said he could not recall the details of a briefing he received in October 2016 regarding a Justice Department official’s concerns about Steele’s political bias against Donald Trump. Comey was also fuzzy on details of the CIA’s concerns about using the dossier in an Intelligence Community Assessment regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (RELATED: FBI Investigated Steele Dossier Source As Possible Russian Agent)
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have followed up on the findings of a Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report which said that the FBI made 17 “significant” errors and omissions in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Carter Page.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the panel, said he wants to find out who was the highest-ranking official at the bureau who knew of the dossier’s problems. Andrew McCabe, who was Comey’s deputy at the FBI, will testify before the committee on Oct. 6.
While Comey acknowledged he was ultimately responsible for the errors in the Page FISA warrants, he asserted that as the head of the FBI, he would not have been provided all of the details of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the dossier.
The FBI relied heavily on information from Steele to obtain the FISA warrants. The bureau first sought a spy warrant in August 2016, but lawyers determined that there was not enough evidence at the time to show probable cause that Page was working as a Russian agent.
That assessment changed on Sept. 19, 2016, when the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team obtained several Steele memos that alleged a vast conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
The IG report said that the FBI obtaining the dossier was “central and essential” to the bureau’s decision to seek a FISA warrant on Page. The first warrant was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.
A majority of the errors committed in the FISA process involved the Steele dossier, according to the IG report.
The FBI’s FISA applications did not disclose that Danchenko, a Russia analyst, undermined the credibility of the dossier during interviews with the FBI in January 2017. The applications also did not mention that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team learned that Danchenko was investigated as a possible Russian asset in 2009.
The FBI team also left out evidence that Russian intelligence operatives may have fed disinformation to Steele through his network of sources.
Comey said he was not aware of any of the derogatory information about the dossier until the release of the IG report. He also said he did not know that Danchenko was the subject of an earlier FBI investigation until last week, when the Judiciary committee released a declassified FBI memo detailing the probe.
“I don’t remember anything about the facts that have been revealed recently about the sub-source. I don’t know how the people running the investigation thought about it,” Comey testified.
Comey told the committee that he could not recall receiving warnings from other agencies about the dossier in 2016. The IG report said that CIA analysts considered the dossier akin to “internet rumor,” but Comey said he was not aware of that assessment while the Trump probe was underway.
“I don’t recall being informed of that.”
A Senate Intelligence Committee report released in July said that top CIA officials pushed back on Comey’s efforts to include the dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment of Russia’s election interference.
John Brennan, the CIA director under President Obama, said that Comey and other FBI officials lobbied aggressively to incorporate information from the dossier in the ICA. The Senate report said that a CIA analyst recalled there being a “bitter argument” between the spy agency and FBI over whether to include the dossier in the intelligence assessment.
Comey told Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley that he did not recall being briefed on Oct. 12, 2016 that a top Justice Department official had concerns about Steele. The IG report said that the official, Stuart Evans, wanted to assess Steele’s potential bias against Trump.
According to the IG report, FBI counterintelligence officials Bill Priestap and Peter Strzok learned in December 2016 that some of Steele’s former colleagues in the U.K. questioned his judgement.
According to the IG report, Priestap told investigators that he withheld the negative information about Steele from the Crossfire Hurricane team as part of an agreement with the British government.
The IG report said that the FBI received evidence in January and February 2017 that Russian intelligence officers may have fed disinformation to Steele. The report also said that the U.S. intelligence community sent a report to the FBI in June 2017 that said two Russian intelligence officers knew in July 2016 that Steele was investigating Trump.
The IG report said that Danchenko’s statements in his FBI interviews “raised questions about the credibility” of Steele’s information.
Danchenko said that he did not verify any of the allegations that the Kremlin had a sex tape of Trump, or that members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.
The dossier’s most specific allegation of Trump-Russia collusion has been debunked. Steele alleged that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin insiders to pay off hackers.
The special counsel’s report and IG report said that Cohen did not visit the European city.
Danchenko told the FBI that a “key” sub-source provided the information about Cohen. The same source also gave Danchenko information about Carter Page that the FBI used in its FISA applications.