While the Dems panted and tried to nip at Comey’s heels over whether there were any provable Russian links between Trump and the Russkies (which there is none whatsoever), the real issue at hand is uncovering who is leaking information concerning Flynn and other matters out of the White House. Enter my hero Trey Gowdy. He did a lot more than nip at Comey’s heels. He pinned him in place and demanded answers. He didn’t get much though. Comey flat out refused to answer whether they were looking into Obama and his cronies on the leaks… but Gowdy seemed to throw shade at Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates. Good boy… and smart. That’s where I would look as well.
As for wiretapping Trump Tower, Comey first said that he had “no information that supports” Trump’s claims that Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped. “No individual can direct electronic surveillance of anyone,” Comey said. “We don’t have any information that supports those tweets.” I am fairly certain he’s playing word games and lying on this. Gowdy queried Comey about whether FISA was “critical to our national security.” Comey said it was. Gowdy then asked if the “unauthorized dissemination” about a FISA warrant was a crime. Comey once again said yes. “Has the investigation into the leak of classified information begun yet?” Gowdy asked. Comey would not answer and evaded him. That is when Gowdy stated: “Unauthorized dissemination of classified or…legally protected material punishable by a felony up to 10 yrs in federal prison.” I think that is a warning on things to come.
From the Washington Examiner:
FBI Director James Comey declined to say Monday whether his team has launched an investigation into the leaks that led to former White House national security advisor Mike Flynn’s ouster.
“I can’t say, because I don’t want to confirm that that was classified information,” Comey told Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., during a congressional hearing on Monday.
Flynn was fired following leaks of intercepted phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The leaks showed that Flynn had discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by then-President Barack Obama in retaliation for Russia’s cyberattacks during the 2016 election — a revelation contrary to Flynn’s public statements and his statements to Vice President Mike Pence.
While Democrats pushed Comey to discuss possible links between Trump’s campaign and the Russians, Republicans emphasized the impropriety of the leaks and worried that it would create opposition to the federal government’s surveillance authority.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, pushed for information about who might have known about Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn refused to say if he briefed Obama on the phone calls, although he confirmed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates — whom Trump fired for refusing to enforce his immigration executive order — would have had access to the information.
“What I don’t ever want to do is compound what bad people have done and confirm something that’s in the newspaper,” Comey said. “Because sometimes the newspaper gets it right, [but] there’s a whole lot of wrong information allegedly about classified activities that’s in the newspaper — we don’t call them and correct them, either. That’s another big challenge. But we just don’t go anywhere near it because we don’t want to help and compound the offense that was committed.” What a weaselly answer… it’s vintage Comey.
Gowdy grilled Comey hard today. You can’t say he didn’t give it his best… Comey is not going to come clean. I didn’t expect him too. There are dirty dealings afoot in intelligence here… I can feel it in my gut. Gowdy also named Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and ex-White House adviser Ben Rhodes as leak suspects… Comey says he doesn’t know. Bull crap. Does anyone out there really believe that? I don’t.
From Fox News – when Gowdy quizzed Comey on the leaks:
“I can’t say because I don’t want to confirm that that was classified information,” said Comey, who had earlier confirmed that the bureau is investigating the claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.
“But you confirmed the investigation into the Trump camp Russia ties,” Gowdy pressed. “And aren’t these leaks a matter of life and death?”
Comey replied, “Leaks are terrible and taken very seriously…”
Prove it then. Plug them and prosecute the perpetrators. Do your job or I imagine Trump will find someone who will.