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Tag: james comey

Comey Defends FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation, Takes Aim at Barr

Former FBI James Comey in previous testimony, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended the bureau’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying it was “essential,” as Republicans dismissed the probe as politically motivated.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the Trump-Russia probe, Comey also took aim at Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that the investigation was unwarranted. 

Asked about Barr’s criticism that the FBI had sufficient evidence to launch an investigation, Comey responded that he had “no idea what on earth” he meant, The Washington Post reports.

“This was an investigation that was appropriately predicated and that had to be opened, and it was in the main, conducted in the right way,” Comey said, pointing out the dozens of people who were charged as a result of the investigation. “The notion that the attorney general believes that was an illegitimate endeavor to investigate mystifies me.”

Comey also suggested Barr was “acting like the personal lawyer for the president.”

“It ought to be a concern for all of us, because we need that institution, and we need that institution to be seen as separate from our tribal warfare,” Comey said.

Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, setting off the special counsel investigation. 

Comey acknowledged mistakes were made, particularly with the bureau’s controversial surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

“I’m not looking to shirk responsibility,” he said. “The director is responsible.”

At the beginning of the hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., criticized the handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“This is not just an abuse of power against Mr. Page and the Trump campaign,” Graham said. “This is a system failure, and you could be next.”

An inspector general’s review of the FISA process found missteps, but concluded there was no political bias. 

Showtime’s ‘The Comey Rule’ Debuts: It’s ‘a Horror Film’

“The Comey Rule.” Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS Television Studios/Showtime

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Comey Rule, a two-part miniseries exploring the relationship between former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump, debuted Sunday on Showtime.

The real-life, four-hour drama features Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Trump.

“The Comey Rule is a horror film,” Slate wrote, “and the monster is Donald Trump.”

The New York Times calls it “a slo-mo horror story.”

The AV Club says it’s flawed, but is “damned compelling.”

The miniseries is based, in large part, on Comey’s 2018 memo “A Higher Loyalty.”

The cast also includes Holly Hunter as Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Michael Kelly as Comey’s deputy Andrew McCabe, Oona Chaplin and Steven Pasquale as FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, Kingsley Ben-Adir, as President Obama, and Jennifer Ehle as Comey’s wife Patrice.

In the first half, Comey and the FBI are investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and are weighing whether to notify Congress of the probe.

The second part, which airs today, depicts the relationship between Comey and Trump, who ultimately fires the FBI director after he refused to pledge loyalty to the president.

Trump Offered Top FBI Job to John Kelly If He pledged Loyalty to the President, New Book Says

President Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A day after President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, he offered the bureau’s top job to then-Homeland Security John Kelly.

But there was a catch: Kelly must pledge absolute loyalty to Trump, according to the forthcoming book Donald Trump v. United States, as reported by Axios.

To get the job, “Kelly needed to be loyal to him, and only him.”

“Kelly immediately realized the problem with Trump’s request for loyalty, and he pushed back on the president’s demand,” New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt writes in the book. “Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump.”

The report doesn’t indicate how Trump responded, but a month after firing Comey, Trump nominated Christopher Wray to be the FBI’s next director.

Kelly later served as Trump’s chief of staff.

During the special counsel investigation, Robert Mueller didn’t find out about Trump offering the job to Kelly, whose interview with Mueller was limited to two hours.

Kelly announced he was resigning as chief of staff on December 2018.

Before Comey was fired, he said Trump urged him to pledge loyalty, and he refused, the former director has repeatedly said.

Comey Accuses Barr, Trump of ‘Leaving Legacy of Damage’ at DOJ

James Comey via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey lambasted President Trump and Attorney General William Barr, accusing them of “leaving a legacy of damage” at the Justice Department.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Comey pointed to the Justice Department’s handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and the intervention of criminal cases involving Trump allies.

“The Justice Department was damaged when the attorney general and the president lied to the American people about the work of the special counsel investigating the president,” Comey wrote.

He added, “They damaged it again when the attorney general intervened in a case involving the president’s friend Roger Stone to overrule the sentencing recommendation of career prosecutors. And they damaged it again when the attorney general tried to drop a case in which the president’s ally Michael Flynn had already pleaded guilty, twice.”

To repair the damage done by the Justice Department and Trump’s administration, Comey said voters must elect Joe Biden as president in November.

“We need a president who will appoint an attorney general not because he needs a personal defense lawyer but because American justice needs a guardian,” Comey said. “We need a president who has devoted his life to serving others through the rule of law. We need to elect Joe Biden.”

Comey Says He ‘Can’t Imagine’ Being a Target of Probe into Russia Investigation

James Comey via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday that he “can’t imagine” that he’s a target of the Justice Department’s investigation into the origins of the bureau’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Given that I know what happened during 2016, which was a bunch of people trying to do the right thing consistent with the law, I’m not worried at all about that investigation of the investigation,” Comey said on Face the Nation. “Next, I’m sure will be an investigation of the investigation of the investigation. They just want to have an investigation to talk about.”

Comey said he’s had no contact with John Durham, the U.S. attorney tapped to investigate Russian interference and ultimately Trump’s campaign.

The first charges to arise from the investigation were filed against Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty earlier this month to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Trump has long claimed, without evidence, that Comey was part of a”witch hunt” to bring down his presidency.

Comey Celebrates Anniversary of 19th Amendment Sporting an ‘Elect More Women’ T-Shirt. Clinton Wasn’t Amused

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

On the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment on Tuesday, former FBI Director James Comey sported a T-shirt that read “Elect More Women.”

“#19th Amendment is an important anniversary but the vote is not enough,” Comey tweeted. “We need more women in office. VP and Virginia governor are good next steps.”

The tweet received a variety of responses. Hillary Clinton responded with a GIF of herself smirking.

Some political observers believe Clinton would have won the 2016 presidential election if Comey hadn’t decided to notify Congress that the FBI had reopened the case of her use of a private computer just 11 days before the election.

Comey has defended his decision, but said he felt “mildly nauseous” that he may have affected the outcome of the election.

Trailer: Upcoming Miniseries The Comey Rule Features Jeff Daniels, Brendan Gleeson

The Comey Rule

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Showtime released its trailer for its upcoming docudrama, The Comey Rule, a two-day TV series about former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump.

Jeff Daniels will star as Comey, while Brendan Gleeson portrays Trump.

The star-studded miniseries is based on Comey’s memoir A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership and will air on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28.

 

Ex-FBI Director James Comey to Release Second Book Ahead of Inauguration Day

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has written a new book that will be released in January, just 10 days before Inauguration Day.

“Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust” will explore Comey’s career and his call “for a return to non-partisan law enforcement centered on American values.”

“In the new book, Comey draws on his long, varied career in the law and justice system, from prosecuting mobsters as an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York in the 1980s to his tumultuous stint as FBI director working under Donald Trump, to illuminate the core values of the Department of Justice, and the path to restoring them,” the publisher Flatiron announces.

Comey made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday.

“New book coming. I hope it will be useful as our country works — starting in 2021 — to restore faith in Justice,” Comey tweeted.

The book is a follow-up to “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” a top-selling book about the Trump administration.