In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, fired FBI Director James Comey let lawmakers know that he didn’t give a damn who fronted the money to produce the infamous Christopher Steele dossier accusing Trump of engaging in a grand conspiracy with the Kremlin. Comey, taking a short break from his usual litany of “I don’t know” answers, told Rep. Mark Meadows that he wasn’t interested in figuring out who had paid for the dossier and that it didn’t make any difference that it was produced by a law firm working for the Clintons and the Democratic National Committee. Clearly, it didn’t keep the FBI from using that dossier – a bought-and-paid-for piece of political propaganda – to secure a FISA warrant to spy on American citizen Carter Page.
“So what you’re saying is that, in part of your investigation, you really didn’t care who was funding Christopher Steele’s work. Is that what you’re saying? It didn’t matter to you?” Meadows asked, according to the official transcript.
“It mattered to me to understand what this material was that my folks were showing to me,” Comey said. “And I believe, in the course of showing it to me, they communicated what you would expect them to communicate: that there may be bias associated with this information; it was first funded by political opponents on one side, then on the other side. I don’t remember them ever giving me the details beyond that.”
Pressed further on whether or not he knew – or was interested in finding out – who was behind the dossier, Comey said: “I don’t remember asking – other than knowing it was political people opposed to Trump, I don’t remember asking which firm, which law firm, those kinds of things. And I don’t remember being told.”
“So you expect us to believe that you got notation that a private client is there and that you didn’t — you weren’t inquisitive enough to figure out who the private client was?” asked Meadows.
“Who cares?” Comey replied. “It was Republicans opposed to Trump, and then it was Democrats opposed to Trump. There was potential bias in this information. That’s really important. Whether it was Sally Smith or Joe Jones, Republican, or Sally Smith, Democrat, to me, it didn’t matter.”
There’s a window through which we can kind of see what Comey is getting at. The dossier was hopelessly tainted by political bias, so what difference did it make who specifically paid for it. But by that logic, we would expect the FBI to set the dossier aside and treat it like the propaganda it was. Instead, they took it to the nation’s most secretive court and used it as evidence to help them get their little spies into the Trump campaign! Instead, they used it as basis for a counter-intelligence investigation into Donald Trump! Instead, they leaked it to the media to undermine the incoming president!
Ah, but who cares, indeed. It’s just our entire democracy at stake. Whatever, ya know.