the unspeakable in pursuit of the merely deplorable

Comey firing will not stop FBI’s Russia investigation, acting director says
Mattathias Schwartz, Intercept, May 11 2017

james-comey-fired-russia-investigation-1494529663-article-headerMay 10 outside the White House (Photo: Astrid Riecken/ WaPo/ Getty)

The Senate Intelligence Committee had planned to hear from James Comey at their worldwide threats hearing on Thursday. Mark Warner said he had prepared “a series of difficult questions having to do with Trump associates” and relating to the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian influence over the 2016 presidential election. Instead, the committee got Andrew McCabe, the deputy who took over after Trump fired Comey on Tuesday afternoon. Sitting beside the heads of the CIA, NSA and ODNI, McCabe got a rough political baptism as senators grilled him over the circumstances surrounding Comey’s firing, and the status of the investigation into Trump’s Russia ties. McCabe’s testimony contradicted the White House on two key points. While the White House has repeatedly said the FBI no longer had confidence in Comey, McCabe said the bureau had his back:

And while White House spox Sarah Huckabee Sanders has called the Russia investigation “one of the smallest things” on the FBI’s plate, McCabe said it was “a highly significant investigation.”

McCabe was circumspect about the bureau’s interactions with Trump. He refused to comment on the accuracy of a claim made by Trump, in his letter firing Comey, that Comey had informed Trump “on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation.” Trump reiterated that claim in a Thursday interview with NBC that coincided with the committee hearing. Trump told Holt:

I said, if it’s possible would you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, you are not under investigation.

Nor would McCabe say when asked by Ron Wyden, whether such conversations between Trump and Comey would be improper if they did take place. When pressed by Martin Heinrich, McCabe said that he had met with Trump earlier this week, but that the Russia investigation had not come up. Contrary to reporting in the NYT and WaPo that Comey’s firing had followed a request from him for more resources to work on the Russia investigation, McCabe said that the FBI had what it needed, and that its work would continue unimpeded. He did not say specifically whether or not the FBI had asked for more prosecutors. Two hours into the hearing, Warner and Burr abruptly stepped out to meet with Rosenstein. The three men huddled in the committee’s secure office for nearly an hour. Afterwards, Burr said the committee had requested to meet with Rosenstein before Comey’s departure, and that the circumstances of Comey’s firing did not come up in their meeting. Warner said he told Rosenstein that he ought to appoint a special counsel to look into Trump’s Russia ties, something that he and many other Demagogs have advocated. When asked how Rosenstein took to the suggestion, Warner said:

I think he took it under advisement. I think he listened.

Rosenstein left without answering questions.

One Comment

  1. Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Here is my guess. Trump won because there was better evidence of his corruption than there was of Clinton. No one could show a video of Hillary raping some child, so Trump wins. I’d like to be proven wrong.

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