Fired FBI Director James Comey has finally met his match. Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri destroys Comey in yesterday’s hearing before the US Senate.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who was right in the middle of the coup to remove President Trump from office, on Wednesday said it didn’t “ring a bell” when asked whether he received an investigative referral on Hillary Clinton purportedly approving “a plan” attempting to tie President Donald Trump to Russia and distract from her email scandal before the 2016 election.
During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Chairman Lindsey Graham asked Comey about the newly declassified information released Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.
The real highlight of the hearing was when Missouri Senator Josh Hawley had his turn.
Below are the transcripts from a couple of the exchanges as recorded by PJ Media:
HAWLEY: Do you regret your role in this unprecedented misleading of a FISA court?
COMEY: I don’t regret my role, I regret that it happened?
HAWLEY: Why not? Why don’t you regret your role in the unprecedented misleading of a FISA court?
COMEY: I regret that the FBI supplied information to a FISA court that was inaccurate, incomplete, and should have been updated.
HAWLEY: Do you regret that you signed off on it?
COMEY: Well, I regret that it happened. The only reason that I’m hesitating is that what the FBI director does in connection with a FISA is actually very narrow but put that to the side, it’s important that it be accurate and it wasn’t and I regret that.
The CIA referred potential evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton to the FBI for investigation in 2016. Instead of investigating Clinton, FBI lied to FISA court to wiretap @realDonaldTrump campaign. Biggest scandal in FBI history & coverup continues pic.twitter.com/xtKQ8S5U9v
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 30, 2020
HAWLEY: You’ve said this several times and I frankly don’t understand it—the certification that the statute requires is a certification by the FBI director as to the contents of the application. You signed off on it. The FISA court said it was so misleading that it now had reason to doubt the FBI’s truthfulness across the board. Are you responsible for these certifications or not?
COMEY: I don’t believe you’re accurately describing the statutory requirements…
HAWLEY: Are you responsible for these certifications, or not? Answer my question.
COMEY: I sign certifications on every FISA the FBI sends over to the FISA court, including these.
HAWLEY: Are you responsible for this misleading evidence given to the FISA court? Yes or no?
COMEY: Yes in the sense of command responsibility, no in that I didn’t have personal knowledge that would have led me to understand that we weren’t supplying complete information
Comey testified to me that he took no action to investigate CIA’s referral of potential wrongdoing by Clinton campaign, but DID get a wiretap of Trump campaign based on 1) false statements 2) from a Russian agent 3) and Democrat political operatives. This should be criminal
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 30, 2020
Hawley pressed Comey on this issue:
HAWLEY: Let’s talk about what personal knowledge you have. When you certified the first Carter Page FISA application you believed that Mr. Steele was working for the Democratic Party, didn’t you?
COMEY: I don’t remember if I knew the Democratic Party, I knew that he was working for political opponents of President Trump.
HAWLEY: Now let me remind you of your testimony under oath on December 7th, 2018, at the House Oversight Committee in which you said, and I quote, “Steele was retained by Republicans adverse to Mr. Trump during the primary season and then his work was underwritten after that by Democrats opposed to Mr. Trump during the general election season.” Now, surely you recognized at the time that relying so heavily on a biased source would undermine public confidence in the FBI’s activities, didn’t you?
COMEY: No, I did not.
HAWLEY: Why wouldn’t you? You told the same committee…and I quote, “When you’re the leader of a justice agency,” that’s YOU, “the appearance of bias is as important as the existence of actual bias.” You also said, “A reasonable appearance of bias can corrupt the American people’s faith in your work as much as actual bias can.” Do you stand by those remarks?
COMEY: Very much so.
HAWLEY: But you nevertheless allowed the Democratic Party to leverage the federal government’s most invasive intelligence capabilities against President Trump and you personally signed off on it. You also knew at the time that other officials in the Department of Justice had serious concerns.
But then Hawley destroyed Comey with evidence refuting Comey’s comments and actions:
HAWLEY: Do you know who Stuart Evans is?
COMEY: I do.
HAWLEY: Mr. Evans was a lawyer in the national security division of the DOJ under President Obama, wasn’t he?
COMEY: I don’t know. I think he was a career official at the Department of Justice…
HAWLEY: He was a lawyer in the national security division of the Department of Justice. Before the first Carter Page FISA application Mr. Evans raised serious concerns about the ostensibly partisan nature of the information provided by Mr. Steele, did he not?
COMEY: I don’t know.
HAWLEY: He did. The IG reports it on pages 136 and 137 on this report and you knew of those concerns before you signed off on the FISA application, didn’t you?
COMEY: I don’t think I knew before, I remember reading a footnote that attempted to inform the court of potential bias.
HAWLEY: No, actually the Inspector General found on page 139 of the report and I quote “on October 12, 2016 Evans’ concerns about Steele were briefed to Comey.”
HAWLEY: And yet you signed off, knowing that the research was funded by the Democrat Party, knowing that senior officials in the DOJ National Security Division had serious concerns, you signed off.
Hawley was right at the end of this exchange as well when he shared, “It’s time we held people responsible.”