Under duress, former FBI Director James Comey trudged to Capitol Hill on Friday to sit for seven hours and answer questions he seemed to believe were beneath him. In his testimony, Comey “answered” questions from lawmakers about the Trump/Russia investigation, the Clinton email scandal, and FISA abuse, all the while signaling that none of this mattered in the least. In comments to the press, Comey said, “We’re still talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails, for heaven’s sake, so I’m not sure we needed to do this at all.”
Well, thankfully it’s not up to you to make that determination, Mr. Comey. It so happens that Congress – and the American people – have many, many questions about your behavior during the 2016 election. Questions that, thanks to your repeated decision to hide behind legal counsel, have yet to be satisfactorily answered.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), in an op-ed for Fox News, was particularly struck by the way Comey seemed utterly on top of the FBI in every way in some situations, but utterly clueless in others. For instance, Comey claimed to have special foreknowledge about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the fact that he would soon recuse himself, relying on that to explain why he did not share with Sessions a conversation President Trump had with him about Michael Flynn. On the other hand, he drew a blank when lawmakers asked him about some troubling indications of bias within the FBI and the DOJ.
“For instance, he did not know that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr was effectively the handler of former British spy Christopher Steele, the infamous author of what became known as the Steele dossier,” wrote Biggs, who was privy to the hearings. “Comey apparently was unaware that Ohr was receiving what Comey would later describe as ‘unverified and salacious’ information from Steele and then passing it on to agents in the FBI, one of whom was Peter Strzok.”
If Biggs was puzzled by Comey’s suspiciously convenient memories, former Assistant Director of the FBI Chris Swecker was disgusted on a personal and professional level. In his own op-ed for Fox News, Swecker accused Comey and other FBI officials of using the Bureau’s reputation for fairness and integrity to shield their crimes from the American people.
“It’s a tragedy in that Comey and his former inner circle – the now infamous troika of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page – have attempted to cloak themselves in the FBI’s rich tradition of fidelity, bravery, and integrity,” Swecker wrote. “In reality, these four former FBI officials have done more to hinder the daily work of the 35,000 selfless and hardworking men and women of the FBI than anyone in the storied agency’s history.
“As a proud veteran of the FBI, it pains me to hear from friends, associates and colleagues who now question the FBI’s impartiality and motives in conducting sensitive investigations,” he added.
But question them we must, because what happened in 2016 – what is continuing to happen to this day – is nothing less than a national disgrace. And it is a truly dismal development that Democrats will take over these committees next year, and will thus join the crusade to hide the truth about one of our nation’s darkest chapters from the American people.