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Trey Gowdy has always been a bulldog.
Sometimes more bark than bite, but it looks like he was putting his prosecutorial skills to good use this week as he cross examined James Comey in the closed-door hearing, according to the official transcript that has been released.
It’s about time someone cuts through all the “I don’t knows” and “I don’t remembers”.
Hey Comey, you “knew” and “remembered” quite enough to write a whole book…..what happened since then?
What a joke!
Here's more on the story, from our friends over at The Western Journal:
Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina pressed former FBI Director James Comey during a Friday closed-door hearing on the roles former FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, confirming they played an integral part in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Gowdy, the outgoing chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, first verified with Comey that Strzok was assigned to the Clinton investigation, the hearing transcript revealed.
The former FBI director confirmed he was and that he had interviewed witnesses and reviewed documents for the probe.
Comey went on to confirm Strzok and Page helped draft the public statement the then-bureau chief gave in early July 2016, which found Clinton and her associates “extremely careless” in the handling of classified information.
Comey stated that Strzok specifically helped “edit” the statement.
The director’s word choice of “extremely careless” caught the attention of many, because it appeared a clear effort to avoid the words “grossly negligent,” which would have implicated Clinton in a crime.
Comey said of Strzok and Page: “They each participated in some respect in that investigation or in our public statement about the investigation and things like that.”
Having confirmed these facts, Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, then ran through a litany of questions clearly meant to highlight the bias both the former FBI officials brought to the Clinton investigation.
The lawmaker pointed to texts by Page in the spring of 2016 in which she described then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as a “loathsome human” and proclaimed, “Trump simply cannot be president.”
Strzok wrote back, “Trump’s an idiot,” and, “Hillary should win 100 million to zero.”
Gowdy observed, “I guess an alternative reading of that would be that he already had her as the nominee and she should win the general 100 million to zero.”
Comey represented that he did not know of the texts, and has only read some of them since learning of their existence through the media.
Gowdy summarized: “So, in March of 2016, Peter Strzok is investigating Secretary Clinton — we’ll use your phrase — for the alleged mishandling of classified information. And at least according to this text, he has her winning the primary and/or the general election. Is that fair?”
Comey declined to answer.
Gowdy then wondered if he would have fired Strzok and Page if he knew of their texts.
“That I can’t answer in the abstract. I’d certainly want the FBI disciplinary process to work and to look at it, to decide whether discipline was appropriate and what that would be. But I can’t answer the ultimate question,” Comey said.
Gowdy persisted with the line of questioning until the former FBI leader conceded he probably would have removed Strzok or Page from the Clinton investigation, but he left open the possibility he could have been persuaded otherwise.
Outgoing House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia told Fox News on Sunday it was “truly stunning” that Comey did not know or could not recall answers for nearly 250 questions asked by those participating in the closed-door session.
“The biggest takeaway is that former FBI Director James Comey, with regard to the two most important investigations… into the Clinton email matter and into the Russia collusion matter, said, as you noted, I don’t recall, I don’t remember or I don’t know, 245 times,” Goodlatte said.
Trump tweeted on Sunday, “Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!”
Watch Fox News Excoriate Comey:
More from Tom Fitton:
A scathing opinion piece was published in the Wall Street Journal:
Can the story former FBI Director James Comey told Congress on Friday possibly be true? In a joint executive session of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Mr. Comey presented himself as unaware and incurious regarding one of the most consequential investigations the FBI has ever conducted. After describing how little he knew about the federal government’s use of its surveillance powers against associates of the presidential campaign of the party out of power in 2016, Mr. Comey then assured lawmakers that the launching of the investigation was proper and free of political bias.On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) - didn’t know who signed off and didn’t know Christopher Steele. All lies!
This is perhaps an overstatement. But some skepticism is clearly in order on the part of the President and every other American who wants free and fair elections. Lawmakers were interested in finding out who exactly initiated the investigation and when. Here’s a portion of the transcript in which the Obama administration FBI boss was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.):Mr. Gowdy. Do you recall who drafted the FBI’s initiation document for that late July 2016 Russia investigation?Mr. Comey. I do not.Mr. Gowdy. Would you disagree that it was Peter Strzok?Mr. Comey. I don’t know one way or the other.Mr. Gowdy. Do you know who approved that draft of an initial plan for the Russia investigation in late July 2016? Mr. Comey. I don’t.
This was not just any investigation. On the other hand the FBI is a big place and perhaps the director would not recall which of the staff had worked on a particular document. Under further questioning from Mr. Gowdy, Mr. Comey added that he didn’t remember ever even seeing the document. Again, one might hope that consequential cases going to the heart of our democratic process would be closely supervised by the most senior officials, but any case generates some volume of documents and an FBI director may be able to learn enough from staff briefings to make sensible decisions. The next part of the transcript is harder to swallow:Mr. Gowdy. How does the FBI launch counterintelligence investigations? What documents are required?Mr. Comey. I don’t know for sure because it’s opened far below the Director’s level. But there’s documentation in criminal investigations and in counterintelligence investigations to explain the predication for the opening of a file, that is, the basis for the opening of a file.Mr. Gowdy. Who at the FBI has the authority to launch a counterintelligence investigation into a major political campaign, and would that eventually have to be approved by you?Mr. Comey. I don’t know for a variety of reasons. I’ve never encountered a circumstance where an investigation into a political campaign was launched, and so I don’t know how that would be done.
Saying that he’s never dealt with the investigation of a political party may seem like a falsehood but Mr. Comey argues that his bureau was not investigating the 2016 Trump campaign as a whole but particular people associated with it. This must be reassuring for Americans to know that the next time they are surveilled while engaging in political activity, perhaps not all of their friends and colleagues will be subjected to such treatment.
However Mr. Comey chooses to characterize the cases he was supposed to be overseeing, he is now saying that neither at that time nor in the more than two years since did he ever know or bother to find out how investigations of political campaigns begin or who authorizes them. Wouldn’t even a passionate anti-Trumper—which Mr. Comey is—be at least curious how the machinery operates when his own subordinates take the extraordinary step of investigating the party out of power?
At least according to his Friday testimony, Mr. Comey did not become any more interested in details once the FBI surveillance machinery was grinding its way toward a series of wiretaps. By now many Americans have understandably grown weary of the various Russian collusion claims. But in the summer and fall of 2016 the FBI was supposedly trying to determine if a hostile foreign power had compromised a leading candidate for President.
This is the stuff of spy novels.