Ranking House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tore apart James Comey’s reasoning for talking about the Clinton email investigation while not discussing the Trump/Russia investigation and exposed the dubious reasoning and false rationale behind Comey’s statements.
Rep. Schiff said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
Director Comey testified that his choice was to ‘conceal or speak’ about the Clinton investigation in the latter two weeks of the campaign. This highly-loaded description meant to justify the decision he made in the waning days of the presidential campaign is a poor characterization of the choice he faced. After all, and by this measure, the FBI Director chose to conceal the Trump investigation and reveal the Clinton investigation.
Nor does the distinction he has sought to make between the ‘open’ Trump investigation and the ‘closed’ Clinton investigation hold up to scrutiny. During the last weeks of the campaign, the Director reopened the Clinton investigation, and it was then in precisely the same posture as the Trump investigation. The real choice the Director faced was between abiding by DOJ policy against discussing investigatory matters around an election or ignoring that policy, between consistency in his handling of the two investigations or inconsistency. Regrettably, for the Bureau, Department and the public interest, the Director chose to violate sound policy, taking the path of unjustifiable inconsistency.
Rep. Schiff was correct. Director Comey was using misleading terms to create the perception of a false choice between either speaking or concealing. The precedent in the Justice Department was not to interfere in elections. Comey could have waited until after Election Day to update Congress. He could have treated both investigations the same, but he didn’t. Comey chose to talk about the Clinton investigation while staying silent about the Trump/Russia investigation.
Comey’s choices can’t be justified. Rep. Schiff is holding Comey’s words to a logical and legal standard that they aren’t meeting.
The unavoidable truth is the FBI Director made a decision that got Trump elected, and when he testifies before the House, Adam Schiff is going to have plenty of questions for him about his violations of Justice Department policy.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association