In explaining why he wrote to Congress about the Weiner laptop and the Clinton email investigation, James Comey lies.
Jason Beale writes, at the Federalist, “IG Report Shows James Comey Lied About Why He Publicized New Clinton Emails.” It is a very long post showing that, if James Comey is telling the truth about why he wrote the letter to Congress about Clinton emails and Anthony Weiner’s laptop, then everyone else who spoke to the inspector general must be lying. Comey claimed he did it to be ethical because he’s a highly ethical person. However, all his discussions with others mentioned something else. Here’s one example among many in the IG report (emphasis added):
Lynch’s chief of staff stated that Lynch told her about the conversation with Comey afterwards. [Lynch] said the Director had expressed that he needed to send the letter because he was very concerned about leaks, that it was going to leak out anyway that they had found these emails in relation to the Weiner investigation. She may have told me something else, but I don’t remember. I remember that being the big thing that he had focused on.
I’ve included both descriptions in their entirety to highlight both the stark differences in testimony as to what was discussed, and to refrain from cherry-picking quotes that support my contention that Comey lied to the OIG, both about this meeting and his motivation for releasing the notification.
Comey told the IG he hadn’t considered the likelihood of a leak from FBI New York in making his decision to notify Congress. Everyone else associated with the deliberations testified that he did. Comey omitted from his description of the meeting with Lynch his agreement that his primary concern was a leak from the FBI Field Office in New York, along with any acknowledgement that she’d expressed her disappointment in what he did, and why he did it.
In short, Comey manipulated the DoJ by characterizing his dilemma as a “personal integrity obligation” when all around him knew this to be eyewash. He mischaracterized the closed-door discussions at FBI HQ to omit any reference to the fact that the fear of leaks was an integral part of the deliberations. He then mischaracterized his meeting with Lynch to protect the same narrative. To have made that decision based on the fear of leaks, he said, “would have been cowardly.”
One can be forgiven, after reading the IG report, for having a hard time believing anything Comey says about one-on-one meetings held in a private setting. Whether or not IG Horowitz felt it necessary to present as a “finding,” the fact remains that, if Comey is telling the truth, everybody else is lying.
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