Because of Tuesday’s presidential debate, the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday didn’t get the attention it deserved at the time. But now, after a few days to unwind from that excruciating night, let’s take a look at what happened during the Comey hearing.
Comey was there at the prodding of Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the committee, which is looking into Crossfire Hurricane and FBI corruption related to that case. If there was ever any doubt that James Comey is the slipperiest, slimiest snake in the swamp, he certainly put it to rest on Wednesday. Comey showed a selective lack of “recall” that was even more pronounced than Hillary Clinton’s, if that is possible. He just couldn’t remember with specificity much of anything he did that had to do with the “dossier” or FISA.
Any more mental lapses and he would’ve been qualified to run for President as a Democrat. Except in Comey’s case, it was an act.
Someone as smooth as Comey has to be pinned down quite forcefully to show how much he has to hide and how hard he’s trying to hide it. On Wednesday, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley did exactly that. He skillfully filleted Comey like a fish. Hawley must be pleased to know that Megan Fox at PJ Media described his style as that of “a young Perry Mason with better hair.”
I\If Sen. Hawley was having a good hair day, he was also having a good questioning day. Comey could only go into his “Duh, I dunno” routine and at one point, after being hopelessly caught in an inconsistency, smirk and shrug idiotically. But Comey is not an idiot; his line of defense at the hearing was obviously to protect himself legally by “knowing” or “remembering” as little as possible, present himself as ethically pure, and give the impression that, hey, the FBI is ALWAYS this incompetent.
Comey tried to distance himself from the grossly misleading and error-ridden FISA application and weasel out of his own responsibility, even as Hawley pressed him on the fact that he had personally signed off on it. (Examples of Comey’s distancing: He said “what the FBI Director does in connection to a FISA is actually very narrow.” He said he doesn’t regret his “role” in this matter; he regrets that “it happened.”) If Comey’s not responsible for the verified accuracy and truthfulness of the content, then what does his signature to that effect even mean?
Comey claimed he didn’t have “personal knowledge that would have led me to understand that we weren’t supplying complete information.” But Hawley challenged him on the true extent of his personal knowledge, asking him if at the time he certified the first FISA application against Carter Page, he knew that Christopher Steele was working for the DNC.
"I don’t know if I knew [it was] the Democratic Party,” Comey prevaricated. “I knew that he was working for political opponents of President Trump.” (We know now that by the time of the FISA application, Comey and all those top-tier people knew Steele was working for Hillary.)
Hawley zeroed in: “Now surely you recognized at the time that relying so heavily on a biased source would undermine public confidence in the FBI’s activities, didn’t you?”
"No, I did not,” Comey answered tersely. NO, HE DID NOT??
Hawley went on, using Comey’s self-serving comments from other testimony against him. (Example: “You...said, ‘A reasonable appearance of bias can corrupt the American people’s faith in your work as much as actual bias can.’ Do you stand by those remarks?”) It was masterful.
He brought up Stuart Evans, a lawyer in the national security division of the DOJ under Obama, “reminding” Comey that before the first FISA, Evans raised “serious concerns about the ostensibly partisan nature of the information provided by Mr. Steele, did he not?”
Comey, again very tersely: “I don’t know.”
Hawley then cited Evans’ concerns as they appear in the IG report. This was a total take-down of Comey, who went on to claim not to have known who Steele’s sub-source was or anything about him. (Of course, we now know that the FBI had previously investigated this person over several years on suspicion that he was a Russian agent.) Hawley again read from the IG report: “‘Comey told us that the application seemed factually and legally sufficient when he read it. He had no questions or concerns before he signed it.’”
Comey stared into the camera like a diminished human being.
The former FBI Director actually said that the referral from the IC (intelligence community) to the FBI of Hillary’s plan to smear Trump with a story about “collusion” with Russia (the one referred to by DNI John Ratcliffe in a letter to Sen. Lindsay Graham) “doesn’t ring any bells with me.” If that is true, Joe Biden’s not the only one who could benefit from memory-enhancing drugs.
More details at the link, including the spectacular must-watch video of Sen. Hawley expertly nailing Comey to the wall.
It should now be obvious to all that James Comey and Hillary Clinton were cut from the same cloth. And the cloth is that slippery kind that slides around and won’t stay put.
Keep in mind, Comey was FBI Director, supposedly at the helm of an enormously significant and politically-charged case. Imagine: investigating a major-party presidential candidate for possibly being an agent of Russia and colluding with Vladimir Putin to win the election! That would be treason. Comey would have demanded to know every detail –- just as Obama and Brennan would have.
And yet, today, Comey is vague on the details. How was he able to write a book?
Reaching the end of his time to question Comey, Hawley asked the former FBI director, “How are the American people supposed to trust the FBI following abuses like this?” Comey responded just the way you’d expect: he focused on his own integrity.
Comey will go down in history all right, not for his integrity but for his stupendous lack of it. Thanks to Sen. Hawley for giving the world a clearer look at the FBI, from the top down, in 2016.