Disgraced former FBI Director James Comey’s closed-door testimony before Congress last week failed to impress outgoing House Oversight Committee chair Trey Gowdy.
“I was disappointed in what he didn’t remember, but I was much more disappointed in what he never knew,” he said in a far-reaching interview this week with Fox News host Martha MacCallum. Gowdy discussed his decision to leave the world of politics in Washington on Fox News Channel’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Wednesday but didn’t go without taking a parting shot at Comey.
Listen to part one of the interview below:
During the hearing last week, Comey uttered the words “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” 245 times in response to questions posed to him by House lawmakers.
Yet following the hearing, he complained to the media about an alleged lack of transparency, saying, “[W]e could have done this in an open setting.”
This echoed what he said after Congress subpoenaed him late last month to testify. At first he chose to “resist” the subpoena, demanding an open-door hearing be held instead.
Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a “closed door” thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see.
— James Comey (@Comey) November 22, 2018
But given how many times he feigned ignorance during the closed door hearing last Friday, it remains unclear how making it an open door hearing would have made any difference.
“The head of the FBI has the campaign of a presidential candidate under investigation. [Comey] never read the initiation document, didn’t know that Peter Strzok had signed it, still to this day doesn’t know that it makes reference to the Trump campaign,” Gowdy continued Wednesday.
Led by Comey, the FBI launched an investigation in July of 2016 into still-unproven allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russian officials.
During that investigation, then-special agent Peter Strzok exchanged anti-Trump text messages with an FBI attorney. One set of messages referenced an “insurance policy” against Trump’s election.
“Doesn’t know who Christopher Steele is, doesn’t know much about Bruce Ohr, knows nothing about efforts to either corroborate or contradict the dossier, doesn’t believe there’s a duty to produce exculpatory information,” Gowdy added, referencing figures central to the investigation.
The DNC and then-Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton paid a research firm to dig up information about then-GOP candidate Trump during the election. That firm then hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to produce a since-debunked dossier.
When the FBI learned of the dossier, it reportedly assigned Justice Department official Bruce Ohr to be Steele’s contact point within the bureau.
New info brings push for Mueller to investigate Bruce and Nellie Ohr’s ties to Fusion GPS for collusion https://t.co/A9SOdcCerh
— Wanda Rufin (@WandaRufin) August 21, 2018
According to Gowdy, when he asked Comey about the dossier’s funding, again the disgraced former FBI director feigned ignorance, acting as if he knew nothing.
“I asked him when did you learn that the DNC was funding the oppo research into trump?'” Gowdy said. “He said ‘oh, I don’t know,’ as if it doesn’t matter.”
“Well, if you know and you’re not telling a judge … don’t you think it’s relevant that, hey, my political enemies are responsible for the third of what I am giving you. A judge wants to know that,” he added, referencing reports that the FBI had used the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump’s campaign.
“Comey is one of the best I’ve ever seen at always being right in his mind. And it doesn’t matter if he is a universe of one. When you write a book about ethics and morality, that in itself is a fairly high opinion of yourself thing to do.”
“Comey just thinks he’s always right, and it doesn’t matter if everyone else concludes he did wrong. He knows better. That’s what it’s like to interview an amnesiac with incredible hubris,” Gowdy said.
Listen to the rest of the interview below:
The House Oversight Committee chair concluded the interview by expressing his dismay over how much of a “political flunkie” Comey — who used to be a reliable law enforcement officer — has become.
“I defended him a lot in 2016,” Gowdy said, referencing the criticism the then-FBI director received over his investigation into Clinton’s email activity, “even when it was lonely to do so. I would still defend him today if I thought he was making right decisions, but he’s been so overtly partisan since he left.”
“He’s just become a political flunky,” Gowdy concluded.
Social media users appear to agree:
Gowdy is right –@Comey is a political flunky.
— chauncygiardino (@chauncygiardino) December 13, 2018
Comey is a political flunky says Trey Gowdy, and I agree.
— Patsy Tyra (@tyramommy) December 13, 2018
Jim Comey was motivated to protect the brand of Jim Comey:So overtly partisan has become a political flunky: doesn’t know much about Orr or documents his number 2 and 3 signed:The only one believing in Jim Comey and his legacy is Jim Comey: The only one in the dark is Jim Comey
— BH (@Gracie2449) December 13, 2018
This is absolutely disgusting. @Comey is a political hack who tries to hide behind quotes about truth. His actions have spoken much louder than his phony sermons ever will. He disgraced the FBI and caused Americans to distrust law enforcement – that’s his legacy.
— chauncygiardino (@chauncygiardino) December 13, 2018
Comey is not dumb, just a partisan liar. Fits right in with Brennan and the rest.
— Robert Fuer (@RobFuer) December 13, 2018
Sure doesn’t help Comey’s case that the FBI is non partisan when he openly expresses his democrat views and tells people to vote democrat.
— David Cavalari (@Djmick90) December 13, 2018
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