“Comey claimed that the FBI did not intentionally commit wrongdoing, but described the FBI’s failures as ‘real sloppiness’.”
Here at LI, we’ve covered disgraced former FBI director James Comey throughout President Trump’s candidacy and presidency. His roles in the Russia hoax and the FBI’s deceptive manipulation of the FISA process are unconscionable.
IG Michael Horowitz made a point of stating after his report’s release that his findings vindicate no one, including presumably Comey.
On Sunday, Comey claimed to Chris Wallace that he was simply being “overconfident” when he lied about the FBI’s role, as revealed by the IG report.
Former FBI Director James Comey admitted on “Fox News Sunday” that the recently released Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation and their use of the surveillance process showed that he was “overconfident” when he defended his former agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
This comes days after Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee detailed concerns that included 17 “significant errors and omissions” by the FBI’s investigative team when applying for a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz referred “the entire chain of command” to the FBI and DOJ for “how to assess and address their performance failures” during the probe, which was conducted while Comey was in charge.
“He’s right, I was wrong,” Comey said about how the FBI used the FISA process, adding, “I was overconfident as director in our procedures,” and that what happened “was not acceptable.”
Comey also defended the FBI’s use of the debunked Steele dossier and the withholding of exculpatory evidence from the FISA court.
Fox News continues:
Comey downplayed the role of Steele’s information in obtaining the FISA warrant against Page, claiming Sunday that it was “not a huge part of the presentation to the court,” just part of the information included in the warrant application.
He insisted that he and Horowitz “weren’t saying different things” about Steele’s significance, but host Chris Wallace then read Horowitz’s words, which said Steele’s information “played a central and essential role” in establishing probable cause.
Comey said he did not “see the disconnect” between his stance and Horowitz’s, even though he recognized that Steele’s reporting “was the one that convinced the lawyers” to move forward.
When Wallace accused him of minimizing the relevance of Steele’s information, Comey said, “if I was then I’m sorry that I did that.”
Another tense exchange occurred when Comey and Wallace accused each other of “mischaracterizing” the problems with Steele’s reporting. Comey claimed that the issue “were significant questions about the reliability of some of the sub-source reporting.”
Wallace then pointed out that according to Horowitz’s report, Steele’s Russian sub-source was not the problem. Rather, the sub-source told the FBI that Steele was the one misrepresenting his statements, demonstrating a lack of reliability.
. . . . In addition to the issues related to Steele, the FBI was found to have omitted exculpatory information about Page that could have impacted the judge’s decision in granting the FISA warrant. Included in this was an instance where an attorney was found to have altered an email to say that Page had not been a CIA source, when in fact he had been working with them. That information would have justified Page’s contacts with Russia, and its omission ultimately led to the FBI renewing the FISA warrant against Page.
In an April 2018 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Comey claimed that the FISA process is “incredibly rigorous” and claimed that Republicans’ criticism of the Page FISA warrant was “a political deal” that was not “based in substance or law.”
Following the report’s release, Comey essentially claimed vindication, declaring in the wake of the report that the criticism of the bureau’s actions “was all lies.” When asked about vindication at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the inspector general bluntly replied, “I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this FISA.”
Comey preferred to embrace his tenure as FBI director as marked by “real sloppiness” than to admit to any other reason for the FBI’s litany of violations and false statements.
Fox News continues:
On Sunday, Comey claimed that the FBI did not intentionally commit wrongdoing, but described the FBI’s failures as “real sloppiness.” He said the Horowitz report “did not find misconduct by any FBI people,” rather just “mistakes and negligence.”
Wallace was quick to remind Comey that attorney Kevin Clinesmith was referred for criminal investigation for the doctored email. Comey said “that’s not been resolved.” He did say it was “fair” to say that the FBI provided false information to the FISA court.
Comey said that “in general” he was unaware of “the particulars of the investigation” when it was going on, but said that as the person at the head of the FBI at the time, it still falls on him.
“I was responsible for this.”
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Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said Sunday that it’s “too damn late” for Comey to own up to his failures.
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that it is “too damn late” for James Comey to admit he was wrong about FBI abuse of the FISA process, as the former FBI director did in an interview on Fox News earlier in the day.
“I think this morning Comey admitted he was wrong. Sometimes, Maria, it’s better late than never, and sometimes it’s just too damn late,” Gowdy said in an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” hosted by Maria Bartiromo.
. . . . Gowdy, who investigated the FBI’s handling of the dossier while he was on the House Intelligence Committee, said Comey is “two years too late” in admitting to FBI abuses of the surveillance process.
“We could have used his objectivity, as head of the FBI helping Republicans figure out what was happening with FISA instead of thwarting us and obstructing us,” he said.
“He said it was policy and procedure issue. It’s not, Maria. There always has been policies against manufacturing evidence and withholding exculpatory evidence — that’s not new. This is a personnel issue. It’s the wrong people in the wrong positions of power. That’s not going to be fixed with a new policy or procedures. It’s going to be fixed by replacing the people who did what they did in 2016.”
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