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Tag: james comey

Comey Drafted Conclusion of Clinton Probe Before He Interviewed Her

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement about the conclusion of the Hillary Clinton investigation months before the former secretary of state was even interviewed, according to documents released Monday. 

A vast majority of the documents were redacted and posted to the FBI’s “Vault” Freedom of Information Act reading room.

The documents confirm assertions by Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham that Comey drafted his statement ahead of the investigation’s closure.

It’s unclear whether the Comey violated any rules by drafting the statement before the interview with Clinton.

Trump Conspicuously Absent from Ceremony to Install New FBI Director

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump was a no-show while Chris Wray was officially installed as the new FBI director during a ceremony in a courtyard at FBI headquarters Thursday.

Wray, a former federal prosecutor, was appointed by Trump after firing then-FBI Director James Comey, who also did not attend. Neither did special counsel Robert Mueller.

White House officials said Trump wanted to stay away from the ceremony because of the ongoing Russia investigation.

“Our mission is simple but profound — to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. That mission hasn’t changed, and it won’t change — not as long as I have anything to say about it,” Wray said at the ceremony.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised Wray as “brilliant, hardworking and an American patriot.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Subpoena 2 FBI Officials Over Comey’s Firing

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for a showdown with the Justice Department after it prevented two senior FBI officials from testifying on Capitol Hill about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate legal counsel plans to subpoena the senior FBI officials – Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki – to force their testimony about Comey’s firing, CNN reports

The Justice Department last week said it was preventing the FBI officials from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee because of the DOJ’s “long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., aren’t backing down.

“We’ve got subpoenas at the Senate counsel office,” Grassley told CNN Wednesday, referring to the Senate office that would draft the subpoenas. “When we get done there, I’m gonna have to consult with Sen. Feinstein.”

Donald Trump Squarely in Crosshairs of Special Counsel Investigation

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is turning his attention to President Trump’s actions in office, including the termination of his national security advisor and FBI director.

The New York Times also reports Mueller is honing in on an Oval Office meeting between Trump and Russian officials after the president said dismissing Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him.” 

Mueller is asking the White House for documents related to some of Trump’s most scrutinized actions while in office.

The news indicates that Trump is now squarely in the crosshairs of the investigation.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Rosenstein Interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller’s Office

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been interviewed by Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office about President Trump’s firing of former FBIU Director James Comey, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The interview, which occurred earlier this summer, creates the odd scenario of investigators questioning the officials directly overseeing the investigation. Mueller, for example, reports to Rosenstein after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey in May.

The interview “could be a sign that Mr. Mueller’s team doesn’t view Mr. Rosenstein as a central witness in its probe, as the deputy attorney general hasn’t withdrawn himself from overseeing it since that interview,” the Journal reported.

The subject of the interview wasn’t immediately clear.

Hillary Clinton Says She’s Unsure If She Would Have Kept Comey If She Won

Hillary ClintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said Thursday she’s unsure whether she would have kept former FBI Director James Comey if she won the 2016 presidential election. 

“If you were president today, would he still be FBI director?”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked.

“That’s a really good question,” Clinton said. “I don’t know the answer to that, because once I wasn’t president I didn’t think about it. I didn’t analyze it at all, so, I don’t really know.”

Clinton, who has been doing interviews to promote her book, What Happened, partly blamed Comey for her loss.

Comey announced close to the election that the FBI was reopening its email server case against Clinton.

White House: DOJ Should ‘Absolutely Look at” Charging ousted FBI Director

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House is striking back at former FBI Director James Comey, saying the Justice Department should “absolutely look at” charging the ousted bureau leader for leaking classified information.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating allegations that President Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing Comey after he refused to back off an investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated Tuesday that Trump had every right to fire Comey. When she was asked whether Comey should be prosecuted, she said, “That’s not the president’s role,” The New York Times reports. 

She added, “That’s the job of the Department of Justice, and something they should certainly look at.” 

She continued, ““If there’s ever a moment where we feel someone’s broken the law, particularly if they’re the head of the F.B.I., I think that’s something that certainly should be looked at.”

Steve Bannon: Firing of Comey Biggest Mistake ‘in Modern Political History’

Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes.

Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former White House strategist Stephen Bannon said President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake “maybe in modern political history.”

Bannon made the extraordinary claim during an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired, we would not have a special counsel,” Bannon told interviewer Charlie Rose.

Bannon said the firing opened the door for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether President Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to win the White House.

“We would not have the Mueller investigation in the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is going,” Bannon said.

Bannon described Washington as “a city of institutions, not individuals. And I think you have to look at it as institutions. The FBI is the institution. The speaker of the house is an institution. The majority leader is an institution. Okay? The Justice Department is an institution. They have an institutional logic of how they proceed and what they’re going to do. And you can’t get caught up in individuals.”

Bannon added that he didn’t learn of Comey’s firing until after it had happened.