James Comey's turn being under investigation

Comey Under DOJ Investigation For Misleading Trump While Targeting Him In FBI Probe

It is one of the most enduring and consequential mysteries of the Trump-Russia investigation: Why did former FBI Director James Comey refuse to say publicly what he was telling President Trump in private -- that Trump was not the target of an ongoing probe?

That refusal ignited a chain of events that has consumed Washington for more than two years – including Comey’s firing by Trump, the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and ongoing claims that Trump obstructed justice.

Now an answer is emerging. Sources tell RealClearInvestigations that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will soon file a report with evidence indicating that Comey was misleading the president. Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent.

Two U.S. officials briefed on the inspector general’s investigation of possible FBI misconduct said Comey was essentially “running a covert operation against” the president, starting with a private “defensive briefing” he gave Trump just weeks before his inauguration. They said Horowitz has examined high-level FBI text messages and other communications indicating Comey was actually conducting a “counterintelligence assessment” of Trump during that January 2017 meeting in New York.

In addition to adding notes of his meetings and phone calls with Trump to the official FBI case file, Comey had an agent inside the White House who reported back to FBI headquarters about Trump and his aides, according to other officials familiar with the matter.

Although Comey took many actions on his own, he was not working in isolation. One focus of Horowitz’s inquiry is the private Jan. 6, 2017, briefing Comey gave the president-elect in New York about material in the Democratic-commissioned dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Reports of that meeting were used days later by BuzzFeed, CNN and other outlets as a news hook for reporting on the dossier’s lascivious and unsubstantiated claims.

Comey’s meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump — a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN.

In his recently published memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey denied having "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump],” though he qualified the denial by adding this was true only in the “literal” sense. He also twice denied investigating Trump, under oath, in congressional testimony.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who has written extensively on the Trump-Russia probe as a columnist for National Review, said that just because the president’s name was not put on a file or a surveillance warrant does not mean the Comey FBI was not investigating him. “They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him,” McCarthy said. “The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading. The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject."

What remains unclear is why Comey would take such extraordinary steps against a sitting president. The Mueller report concluded there was no basis for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theories. Comey himself was an early skeptic of the Steele dossier -- the opposition research memos paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that were the road map of collusion theories – which he dismissed as “salacious and unverified.”

Republicans including House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes believe that Comey, like his top counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, was attempting to “stop” the Trump presidency for political reasons.

“You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information” to anti-Trump media, Nunes said in a recent interview. His panel is one of two House committees scheduled to hear testimony from Mueller on Wednesday.

The IG’s report, which is expected to be released in early September, will shine new light on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, given that Horowitz and his team have examined more than 1 million records and conducted more than 100 interviews, including sit-downs with Comey and other current and former FBI and Justice Department personnel. The period covering Comey’s activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president.

Although Horowitz has focused primarily on whether the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in its applications for surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, he has pursued other related angles, including whether Comey personally misled the president and leaked classified FBI information about him, the officials said.

An attorney for Comey declined to answer emailed questions regarding the Horowitz investigation. The following account, drawn from officials briefed on the IG’s work and other sources, provides details of Comey’s actions between Trump’s election and his dismissal by the president.

So many questions. Who told Comey to start an investigation into Trump's campaign? Early January is when Obama was still president. Would Comey have done that on his own? What are the consequences for a sitting FBI director if he leaks confidential information against the president just so he can get a special prosecutor named to investigate that president? Are there any consequences for lying to congress anymore?

Additional reading. This is the court filing for the lawsuit that Edward Butowsky is bringing against a number of journalists and media organizations. This details the whole sordid Russia Gate saga and I highly recommend reading as much as you can.

So let's hope that Barr and Horowitz gets to take their investigations as far as they need to go and finally drive a nail through Russia Gate's coffin.

Of course this could just be one more f'cking psyops.

According to two US officials familiar with Horowitz's upcoming report on FBI misconduct,

This disclaimer was rampant in every article on Russia Gate...so there's that.

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snoopydawg's picture

.....What's more, Comey had an FBI agent in the White House who reported the activities of Trump and his aides, according to 'other officials familiar with the matter.'

The agent, Anthony Ferrante, who specialized in cyber crime, left the White House around the same time Comey was fired and soon joined a security consulting firm, where he contracted with BuzzFeed to lead the news site's efforts to verify the Steele dossier, in connection with a defamation lawsuit.

According to the report, Horowitz and his team have examined over 1 million documents and conducted over 100 interviews - including sit-downs with Comey and other current and former FBI and DOJ employees. "The period covering Comey’s activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president."

McCabe’s deputy, Lisa Page, appeared to dissemble last year when asked in closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee if Comey and other FBI brass discussed opening an obstruction case against Trump prior to his firing in May 2017. Initially, she flatly denied it, swearing: “Obstruction of justice was not a topic of conversation during the time frame you have described.” But then, after conferring with her FBI-assigned lawyer, she announced: “I need to take back my prior statement.” Page later conceded that there could have been at least “discussions about potential criminal activity” involving the president.

Sperry notes that Comey wasn't working in isolation on the Trump effort. In particular, Horowitz has looked at the January 6, 2017 briefing on the infamous 'Steele Dossier' - a meeting which was used by BuzzFeed, CNN and others to legitimize reporting on the dossier's salacious and unsubstantiated claims.

Comey’s meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump — a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN.

While Comey claims in his book, "A Higher Loyalty" that he didn't have "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump]," former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy notes that just because Trump's name wasn't on a formal file or surveillance warrant doesn't mean that he wasn't under investigation.

"They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him," said McCarthy. "The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading. The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject."

What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. "They had no probable cause against Trump himself for ‘collusion’ or espionage," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing."

What remains unclear is why Comey would take such extraordinary steps against a sitting president. The Mueller report concluded there was no basis for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theories. Comey himself was an early skeptic of the Steele dossier -- the opposition research memos paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that were the road map of collusion theories – which he dismissed as “salacious and unverified.

IMG_3300.JPG

Heh...

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

It makes a certain sense.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic who hangs upside down all day--or at least every time I see him, he is inverted.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Anything else?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

See below.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

zero hedge.com, singular, and iirc, almost every post is written under the pseud 'tyler durden' who was a fictional fight-club promoter.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...based on a quick-read, is that this investigation is designed to excise Comey like an infected polyp from the "otherwise healthy" body of the Intelligence Community. Comey has been designated to take the fall for the entire evidentiary mess that was exposed.

The investigting cartel seems to think that the preposterous Russian hoax that was foisted upon the American people in order to push them into a war between the superpowers for ultimate rulership of the world can be swept under the rug, unnoticed — as if it were not intricately connected to this investigation. Conflicts of interest clearly abound, here.

This is a very bad beginning, but it is no worse than I expected, based simply on the extraordinary length of time the Horowitz investigation has been drawn out.

(I have observed that corrupt investigations last approximately two-and-a-half times longer than legitimate ones do. Time that is necessary for all the shoes to finally drop and all the potential loose ends to be eliminated. And time that is required to establish plausible deniability for certain elected and non-elected authorities and for former appointees, some of whom have gone on to become cable news propagandists — and all of whom were instrumental in a conspiracy to overthrow a US Presidential Election. This clean-up operation also obscures the activities of foreign Intelligence services, including but not limited to those operating in the UK, Australia, Israel, and Italy.)

Here's what sticks out in my first pass:

Inspector General Michael Horowitz will soon file a report with evidence indicating that Comey was misleading the president. The period covering Comey’s activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president.

.

Quite frankly, this time period is already transparent to any informed observer. The only reason to focus an investigation here is to further sanitize Robert Mueller and his long drawn-out kabuki investigation. At this point, I would catagorize the Horowitz investigation as a similar mediocrity of attention deflection. The serious crimes against the US government and its people took place one year earlier.

I am guessing that the piece-of-garbage attempt at deflection, below, will be emblematic of everything that follows:

Although Horowitz has focused primarily on whether the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in its applications for surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, he has pursued other related angles, including whether Comey personally misled the president and leaked classified FBI information about him, the officials said.

The FBI misled the Court? — We already know the FISA Court was misled. — After four FISA warrants on Carter Page, the FBI did not even question Carter Page. According to Carter Page, he was working for both the FBI and CIA, and had been for years. The FBI used those warrants to wiretap anyone Carter Page talks to. And, anyone that "they" talk to. We already knew that. Now, the Horowitz Investigation is supposed to tell us who and why. And under who's authority this operation was taking place.

Here's what we get instead:

Bait.
Then switch.
Then cough up Comey.

An attorney for Comey declined to answer emailed questions regarding the Horowitz investigation. The following account, drawn from officials briefed on the IG’s work and other sources, provides details of Comey’s actions between Trump’s election and his dismissal by the president.

.

What we are looking at here is a deflection and a cover-up, not an investigation. This is the first gauntlet, with Comey is being offered up as a sacrifice.

You have the patterns.
Watch them repeat.
Notice what is omitted.
Remember the Big Picture.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
gulfgal98's picture

@Pluto's Republic And sadly, I believe that you're right.

Now, the Horowitz Investigation is supposed to tell us who and why. And under who's authority this operation was taking place.

Here's what we get instead:

Bait.
Then switch.
Then cough up Comey.

We all know that this entire thing went all the way to the top based upon the text messages of Page and Strzok. IMHO, this scenario is all about protecting Obama.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

This started way before 2017 as you mention and so far the only person on the hook for it is ole James Comey. But will he be held accountable for leaking the conversations he had with Trump just so a special prosecutor could be named to give what he did some cover? Probably no.

Will he be held accountable for lying to congress? If Brennan and Clapper and others can get away with it then sadly no he will not. This is why I questioned whether this was just another psyops to keep the peeps distracted thinking that this will take down Obama and Hillary that in all reality should happen. But the days of watergate are long gone and from further research into the real reasons why people wanted Nixon gone, it looks like that too was a pysops. But what Hillary and Obama and the sycophants did was much worse that the Nixon buglers in my humble opinion. Hillary used her party's intelligence agencies to spy on Trump and then hang a treasonous charge around his neck which Mueller then made it so that he can't get it off. Not charging him with a crime, but alluding that he did indeed commit one is pure garbage. You are either pregnant or you are not. Same thing....

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Eagles92's picture

@snoopydawg

[Trump] can't get it off.

Gigglesnort.

(Call me Beavis if you must).

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snoopydawg's picture

@Eagles92

Okay, Beavis.

I thought it might have been this.

buglers

Lmao..I had just taken a drink when I read this. Burglars is what I meant to write and now you can see why I rarely comment in the am. But I've noticed that I have been making lots of mistakes lately on spelling and syntax. I'm blaming the drugs.

Smile

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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Eagles92's picture

@snoopydawg With you, not at you, as I knew you meant burglars and I'm just as prone to typos as anyone. I just couldn't think of a funny reposte for bugler. Lol

Sometimes we all have to laugh so that we don't cry, right?

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@snoopydawg That tells you where I go to grade school. ;0)

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Azazello's picture

This is where we get to see, maybe, why all this RussiaRussia shit came about.
The following quote, from Stephen Cohen's book War with Russia ? gives us a clue. This passage is dated March 23, 2016.

Whatever else one may think about Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, his foreign policy views expressed, however elliptically, in a Washington Post interview this week should be welcomed. They challenge the neocon/liberal interventionist principles and practices that have guided Washington policy-making since the 1990s-with disastrous results.
That policy-making has involved the premise that the United States is the sole, indispensable superpower with a right to intervene wherever it so decides by military means and political regime changes. In the process, Washington has used select NATO members ("coalitions of the willing") as its own United Nations and rule-maker. In recent years, from Iraq and Libya to Ukraine and Syria, the results have been international instability, wars (unilateral, proxy, and civil), growing terrorism, failed "nation building," mounting refugee crises, and a new Cold War with Russia.
Trump seems to propose instead diplomacy ("deals") toward forming partnerships, including with Russia; rethinking NATO's mission; urging Europe to take political and financial responsibility for its own crises, as in Ukraine; and perhaps diminishing America's footprint in the world. In effect, a less missionary and militarized American national-security policy.
.....
The orthodox bipartisan establishment, Republicans and Democrats alike, have reacted to Trump's proposals as though he is the foreign policy anti-Christ, leveling all-out assault on his remarks

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snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

and has taken lots of crap for it. As have so many others including most members of this blog.

perhaps diminishing America's footprint in the world

Trump sure has gotten that tune changed for him though hasn't he? How people can think that Russian interference is a bigger threat to us than Israel is just boggles my mind. Just today I read again that Putin is calling the shots on our foreign policies even though Trump has done a lot of things that you would think Putin wouldn't want him to.

The INF treaty no longer in effect? This was done so that Russia could build more nuclear weapons.
War on Iran? This is so Russia can sell more oil.
I haven't seen anyone trying to explain how selling Ukraine weapons that Russia doesn't want them to have helps Putin. Yet.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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with those of you who have expressed skepticism about justice being served, I still think there is more to this scandal than the behavior of the conspirators. Azazello's quote from Stephen Cohen gets to the larger issue:

The orthodox bipartisan establishment, Republicans and Democrats alike, have reacted to Trump's proposals as though he is the foreign policy anti-Christ...

And Pluto's Republic describes it as well:

The investigting cartel seems to think that the preposterous Russian hoax that was foisted upon the American people in order to push them into a war between the superpowers for ultimate rulership of the world can be swept under the rug, unnoticed — as if it were not intricately connected to this investigation. Conflicts of interest clearly abound, here.

James Comey was general counsel for Lockheed, a partner in the crime of torturing 85,000 children to death by starvation in Yemen. He was on the Board of Directors for HSBC, a terrorist bank.

The conflict between those people in law enforcement and even in intelligence who are blowing the whistle and releasing documents to bring the merchants of death to justice is a serious, ongoing struggle, but I think it's for real, and I think its success rides on what information reaches the public. Which is to say, I'm still hopeful because of the tenacity of the un-named people doing the right thing.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood

and heroes of the country going back to the start of their careers. How can people not know how much blood they have on their hands?

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

the testimony by the upstanding 'master of cover-ups' robert mueller? yeah, i know y'all know all this, miz. buglers, but a woman mr. wd's working for was in tears, i tell ya, tears!..as she couldn't be at home to watch that honorable man™ speak!

zo, i looked that up so he'd be able to answer her...if he'd choose to. she just can't believe he doesn't give a fart in the wind about any of this rubbish.

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