“I Don’t Know”: Comey Gets Convenient Amnesia About 2016 Investigations
From the perspective of new information or startling insights, the Friday testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was largely a waste of time. Comey might as well have stayed home for all the assistance he gave lawmakers who are trying to get to the bottom of what was really going on inside the Obama DOJ during the 2016 election.
But his sudden amnesia about the events that transpired over the course of that year was, in a way, its own revelation. In answering scores of questions with “I don’t know,” “I don’t remember,” and flat-out “I won’t answer that,” Comey showed the country that he is a man with much to hide.
In a closed-door hearing with the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Comey “answered” questions for several hours on Friday. But in his refusal to reply to specific queries about many troubling aspects of the Russia investigation and the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Comey frustrated lawmakers who all-but-accused the former FBI director of stonewalling them. In many ways, Comey’s testimony was an echo of Peter Strzok’s earlier this year; on dozens of occasions, both men declined to answer important questions because their FBI attorneys advised against it.
In other words, the FBI considers itself above the petty oversight of the elected Congress. How fascinating.
Comey told the panel that “we never investigated the Trump campaign for political purposes,” but his refusal to answer pointed questions about Bruce Ohr, Christopher Steele, the FISA warrant for Carter Page, and the origins of the Russia investigation indicate that might not be the entire truth of the matter.
“I do not,” Comey said when asked who drafted the FBI’s initiation document that kicked off the Russia investigation in the summer of 2016. He went on to say he did not know the extent to which disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok was involved in creating that document.
When asked if the FBI had any evidence supporting the notion that then-candidate Donald Trump was involved in the hacking of the DNC, Comey gave the committees this runaround answer: “Did we have evidence in July that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server? I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line.”
Again and again Comey took this sort of privilege, providing lawmakers with little or no new insights into the Bureau’s actions, nor their reasons for taking them.
At some point, the truth about this whole evil mess is going to come out. And when that happens, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and even Robert Mueller himself will have to answer for it. Until then, enjoy your amnesia, Mr. Comey. We’re sure there’s a lot of stuff you’d like to forget.