Yes, the Comey Press Conference Was Influenced by Russian Active Measures
The Washington Post piece about it yesterday was bittersweet. Ok, mostly sweet to be sure. But I had been shouting to the Heavens about this astonishing fact for about a month prior.
This is the dynamic we always see: the MSM is always late the the party. Don’t get me wrong, my above post was not based on any sorts of inside sources-I don’t have any sources at least at this point in time-nor was it based on classified info-I have no such pipeline either-though I hope to be if NY 2 replaces Trump apologist Peter King with yours truly.
— olisaeloka (@olisaeloka23) May 22, 2017
PLS also donate if you can.
Even if your not from NY-I’ve donated a few hundred to Ossoff. We need Democrats in every district not just our own.
But I digress. Basically I wrote the above piece about the Comey press conference based on public information. The NY Times had a shocking expose back in late April-the Saturday before Comey’s testimony the following week which led to Trump firing him.
It was great investigative journalism from the Times. No one ever doubts their ability when they want to set their mind to it. Too often though they don’t set their mind to it. They had nothing to say on Trump Russia during the election just as they observed radio silence about Watergate before the 1972 election.
But there was no follow through to their great piece. None of the rest of the media followed up on it. What I did was just chronicle one very arresting implication of that NYT piece. Not the only one by any stretch.
So now, a month later the Washington Post catches up. But I, of course, won’t be discussed as the first one to put this thread together and shouting from the rooftops about it. I’m not saying I want/need credit all the time but just once in a blue moon would be appreciated.
Ok, rant over. Let’s look at the Washington Post piece:
“A secret document that officials say played a key role in then-FBI Director James B. Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation has long been viewed within the FBI as unreliable and possibly a fake, according to people familiar with its contents.”
“In the midst of the 2016 presidential primary season, the FBI received what was described as a Russian intelligence document claiming a tacit understanding between the Clinton campaign and the Justice Department over the inquiry into whether she intentionally revealed classified information through her use of a private email server.”
“The Russian document cited a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter. If true, the revelation of such an understanding would have undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation.”
So the basis of Comey’s press conference-that all protocol and precedent counseled against-was an alleged hacked email by Russian intelligence. It gets better. The alleged email wasn’t even presented just the alleged analysis of Russian intelligence.
“Current and former officials have said that Comey relied on the document in making his July decision to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over. That public announcement — in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence — set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.”
“But according to the FBI’s own assessment, the document was bad intelligence — and according to people familiar with its contents, possibly even a fake sent to confuse the bureau. The Americans mentioned in the Russian document insist they do not know each other, do not speak to each other and never had any conversations remotely like the ones described in the document. Investigators have long doubted its veracity, and by August the FBI had concluded it was unreliable.”
“The document, obtained by the FBI, was a piece of purported analysis by Russian intelligence, the people said. It referred to an email supposedly written by the then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), and sent to Leonard Benardo, an official with the Open Society Foundations, an organization founded by billionaire George Soros and dedicated to promoting democracy.”
“The Russian document did not contain a copy of the email, but it described some of the contents of the purported message.”
So just a description of it without the alleged emails itself was enough for Comey and friends.
The one thing I definitely disagree with Louise Mensch on is her assurance Comey is the hero in this picture. More likely he’s trying to redeem himself.
How do you justify this? Apologists go back to the tired refrain: Comey had no choice.
“Comey had little choice, these people have said, because he feared that if Lynch announced no charges against Clinton, and then the secret document leaked, the legitimacy of the entire case would be questioned.”
“As usual Comey broke protocol and influenced an election for a whole bunch of speculative ‘ifs.’ That was his justificaiton for the Comey letter as well-if there was something bad and if the GOP found out after the election it would be catastrophic.’
Really? I think we’re facing a catastrophe now.
But the ifs just keep mounting and it just gets more and more outrageous and astonishing:
“From the moment the bureau received the document from a source in early March 2016, its veracity was the subject of an internal debate at the FBI. Several people familiar with the matter said the bureau’s doubts about the document hardened in August when officials became more certain that there was nothing to substantiate the claims in the Russian document. FBI officials knew the bureau never had the underlying email with the explosive allegation, if it ever existed.”
So Comey said he had to meddle in an election just in case it later leaked just in case it was actually good intelligence. From Russia hackers.
“Comey’s defenders still insist that there is reason to believe the document is legitimate and that it rightly played a major role in the director’s thinking.”
So the FBI is investigating Russian intelligence for their hacking into an election but continue to rely on documents allegedly hacked by Russia to justify the Comey press conference? Sure-that adds up.
“Other people familiar with the document disagree sharply, saying such claims are disingenuous because the FBI has known for a long time that the Russian intelligence document is unreliable and based on multiple layers of hearsay.”
“It didn’t mean anything to the investigation until after [senior FBI officials] had to defend themselves,” said one person familiar with the matter. “Then they decided it was important. But it’s junk, and they already knew that.”
So Comey relied on Russian active measures that they knew was junk.
They. Used. A. Bogus. Russian. Intelligence. Memo. As. Justification. For. Treating. Hillary. Unfairly. After. They. Knew. It. Was. Bogus.
— Molly (@bitchyologist) May 24, 2017
How is this not a just humungous crime? https://t.co/Ug2QhV0VUb
— mike sax (@evilsax) May 24, 2017
Bottomline: they wanted an excuse to nail her for something. It was always obvious that there was no grounds for indictment. Comey himself told the GOP that in August hearings after the presser.
But this was clear from the start. In fact, I’d think Comey and the rest of the FBI should be pushed in front of Congressional hearings as to what the probable cause basis for this whole email probe was in the first place. I think it’s arguable it was always clearly not a close call.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.