After years of presenting himself as an infallible martyr incapable of doing wrong, disgraced former FBI Director James Comey has finally admitted to being full of bullschiff. Unfortunately, the admission has come far too late in the game.
“I have total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DOJ and the FBI,” he told reporters after testifying behind closed doors to the House Judiciary Committee last year.
But when confronted by Fox News host Chris Wallace this Sunday morning over the glaring discrepancy between last year’s arrogant assertion and the facts laid out in Department of Justice Michael Horowitz’s just-released FISA abuse report, Comey finally bent the knee — or at least to some degree.
“He’s right, I was wrong,” Comey plainly admitted before trying to shift the blame for the FBI’s actions on the FBI and Department of Justice’s long-established “procedures.”
“I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice had built over 20 years,” he said. “I thought they were robust enough. It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA. I was over-confident in those because he’s right, there was real sloppiness. 17 things that should have either been in the applications or at least discussed and characterized differently. It was not acceptable.”
But it was more than sloppiness at play. And in case he’s forgotten, he was the man in charge of operations at the FBI when this “sloppiness” occurred.
As Wallace noted later in the interview, “But you make it sound like you’re a bystander, an eyewitness. You were the director of the FBI while a lot of this was going on, sir.”
Plus, his remarks about the FISA warrant weren’t the only falsehood he told in 2018. Speaking with MSNBC conspiracy theorist Rachel Maddow that spring, he slammed congressional Republicans for questioning the legitimacy of the FISA warrants used to spy on President Donald Trump’s campaign, describing their line of questioning as a “political” ploy not “based in substance or law.”
It appears Comey owes some Republicans an apology …
Yet even in the face of Horowitz’s damning findings, Comey managed to display some of his age-old arrogance nevertheless. No shocker there.
For instance, when Wallace confronted him about his laughable claim last week that the report had somehow vindicated him, the disgraced former FBI director doubled down.
“The IG says you should feel no vindication,” the FNC host said.
“Well maybe it depends upon how we understand the word,” Comey replied. “What I mean is the FBI was accused of treason, or illegal spying, of tapping Mr. Trump’s wires illegally, of opening an investigation without justification, of being a criminal conspiracy to defeat and then unseat a president. All of that was nonsense.”
Whether or not the Russia investigation/probe was predicated on a politically motivated conspiracy of some sort against Trump still remains under investigation. While it’s true that Horowitz has for his part dismissed the notion of a conspiracy, both Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham haven’t.
NEW: John Durham says they “do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.” pic.twitter.com/GfKezyK9kV
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 9, 2019
Attorney General Bill Barr on damning IG Horowitz Report –
IG shows FBI “launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) December 9, 2019
“I think it’s really important that the inspector general looked at that, and that the American people — your viewers, all viewers — understand that’s true,” Comey added, before dovetailing to his complaints about sloppiness.
“But he also found things that we were never accused of, which is real sloppiness. And that’s concerning. If I was director, I’d be very concerned about it and diving into it,” he said.
But what he failed to do Sunday was explain why he allowed this “sloppiness” to occur in the first place when he WAS the bureau’s director …
During the interview Sunday, Comey also tried downplaying the overwhelming significance of the discredited Steele dossier.
“Comey downplayed the role of Steel’s information in obtaining the FISA warrant against [Trump campaign operative Carter] Page, claiming Sunday that it was ‘not a huge part of the presentation to the court,’ although recognizing that ‘it was the one that convinced the lawyers’ to move forward,” Fox News reported.
He further reportedly “claimed he had not misstated the relevance of Steele’s information, but said ‘if I was then I’m sorry that I did that.'”
Finally an apology … albeit a hesitant one shrouded in lies.
“[W]e found that members of the [counterintelligence] team failed to meet the basic obligation to ensure that the Carter Page FISA applications were ‘scrupulously accurate,'” Horowitz’s report reads. “This is because the counterintelligence team used unverified hearsay from Steele — and only the information from Steele — as evidence to justify eavesdropping.”
And according to some of Comey’s critics, this wasn’t a “sloppy” mistake — it was 100 percent deliberate:
FBI agents, under Comey and McCabe, didn’t make “mistakes” or engage in “sloppy behavior” w/ FISA abuse. They made deliberate decisions to omit crucial information in FISA applications, including Carter Page connection to the CIA and Steele’s connection to the Clinton campaign.
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) December 15, 2019
“the dossier… was NOT all of it or a critical part of it…”
–James Comey, ex-FBI 4/26/18
“the dossier was certainly NOT used as the primary source.”
–James Clapper, ex-DNI 9/20/18
“The FISA applications relied ENTIRELY on information from…Steele…”
–IG Horowitz 12/11/19 pic.twitter.com/G34oO4yhvO
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) December 14, 2019
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