With former special counsel Robert Mueller scheduled to testify Wednesday (I’ll believe it when I see it), Steve Hilton on FOX News Sunday night brought up something that SOMEBODY on either the House Judiciary Committee or the Intelligence Committee ought to ask about, even though Mueller would surely wiggle out of answering. Here’s the background:
Almost a year ago, Hilton first reported on an intriguing past financial connection between Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey. Comey, then a former deputy attorney general, was hired by defense behemoth Lockheed Martin to be its general counsel (top attorney) and senior VP at the same time Mueller was serving as FBI director. Soon after Comey was hired at Lockheed Martin, Mueller’s FBI gave them a $300 million contract to develop a program called “Sentinel.” Then, in April of 2008, Mueller’s FBI gave Lockheed Martin a $1 billion contract to develop a sophisticated biometric surveillance program called “Next Generation Identification System.”
(Note: a little digging on our part turned up a story that may or may not be related to this cozy relationship. As it turns out, work was delayed on the NGI project because IBM went to the Government Accountability Office and protested the awarding of the contract to Lockheed Martin. They reportedly resolved the conflict when IBM was hired as a subcontractor. The story also mentions that Lockheed Martin ranks #1 on the list of largest federal government contractors.)
Of course, we already know that Comey leaked the content of personal notes he’d made of his “impressions” of a conversation he’d had with President Trump to the New York Times via a professor friend –- who had also had an unusual working relationship with Comey at the FBI –- with the admitted goal of triggering a special counsel investigation that he knew would almost certainly be headed by Mueller. (The notes were the property of the Justice Department and not his to leak.) Since Comey would of necessity be a witness in the “Trump/Russia” investigation, the conflict of interest in having Mueller as chief investigator is beyond the pale, but it happened anyway. (Of course, Rod Rosenstein had a similar conflict in supervising the investigation, but that happened anyway, too.)
Hilton’s facts came from the Government Accountability Institute, which had just published their book ‘COMPROMISED: How Money and Politics Drive FBI Corruption.” As Gregg Jarrett summed it up, “Comey stole government documents...he then leaked them to the media to trigger a special counsel, who just happens to be his longtime friend, partner and ally, to investigate the guy who fired Comey.” Hilton observes that they both “made millions off the surveillance state that they themselves promoted.”
Apparently, they both shared the same mentor: (drum roll, please )...Eric Holder.
Jarrett says Mueller and Comey have been “thick as thieves” for decades, and he doesn’t mince words about what we're dealing with. “James Comey,” he told Hilton, “strikes me as the most unscrupulous, devious, unprincipled person ever to hold a high position in the government,” someone who “has perpetrated the biggest hoax in modern American history.”
In his thoroughly underwhelming press conference a few weeks ago, Mueller tried to maintain that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion that a sitting President couldn’t be indicted had denied him the option to recommend charges, implying that he might have wanted to do so. Because Attorney General Bill Barr had already made it clear that Mueller had said otherwise –- three times, in front of multiple witnesses –- Mueller had to issue a statement later that same day admitting that he had misspoken.
To quote Steve Hilton, “What Mueller did at his press conference wasn’t justice. It wasn’t the rule of law. It was a smear –- a false statement designed to cause material harm to President Trump, delivered with malice.” Hilton suggested that Trump should sue Mueller for defamation. I don’t know if that’s even feasible when you’re the President of the United States –- for example, can Trump sue Rep. Ilhan Omar for calling him a racist and a fascist? –- but he certainly was defamed. Of course, if Trump sued everyone who defamed him, the courts would be backed up for about a hundred years.
Mueller clearly is still trying to set up the President for impeachment. As the Wall Street Journal said, Mueller wants “an impeachment inquiry to charge Donald Trump with obstructing an investigation that wasn’t obstructed into a conspiracy that didn’t exist.”
Maybe Trump can’t sue for defamation, but Hilton suggests that both Mueller and Comey should be be the subjects of an investigation into their business dealings. He wants to see an investigation into the Lockheed Martin contracts and also Mueller’s client relationships at the law and lobbying firm Wilmer-Hale, where it appears Mueller cashed in after leaving his post as FBI director.
It’s highly unlikely that Mueller will answer questions about this, as he is reportedly limiting his answers to the report he’s already issued. (Aside: So why even hold the hearing? Attorney General Barr is correct in his suspicions –- Mueller’s testimony is just for the spectacle.) As I’ve said, he’s likely not to appear on Wednesday at all; he and Jerrold Nadler can easily come up with some fake excuse. Mueller has good reason for being a reluctant witness.
Considering this session of Congress adjourns on Friday, a Mueller no-show would pretty much put an end to the possibility of his testifying at all. But if they do have the hearing and he does show up, some lingering questions about him and Comey could at least be read into the record by the likes of ranking Republican Doug Collins.
Here’s the link to Steve Hilton’s original report on the Mueller-Comey connection. These two are prime examples of what he calls Washington “swamp creatures.” They may no longer be lurking inside the bureaucracy, but who knows how many other proteges Eric Holder had?