Former FBI Director James Comey has been exposed through recently released documents showing that he edited his draft statements on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email probe – watering down her offenses on multiple occasions before making his announcement public.
On Thursday the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), issued a letter to the FBI revealing numerous edits that Comey had made to his statement on Hillary’s email conduct, changing it from a serious crime to a mere trifle.
From jail time to timeout …
The changes made by Comey show that he significantly toned the incriminating language against Clinton with each progressing edit.
“In an early draft, Comey said it was ‘reasonably likely’ that ‘hostile actors’ gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account,” Fox News – which obtained copies of the documents – reported. “That was changed later to say the scenario was merely ‘possible.’”
This trend from draft to draft consistently worked toward Clinton’s advantage.
“Another edit showed language was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her colleagues as ‘extremely careless’ as opposed to ‘grossly negligent,’” Fox News Washington Bureau Producer Jake Gibson pointed out. “This is a key legal distinction.”
The exact dates of the memos were first revealed weeks ago.
“A May 2, 2016 memo sent by Comey to three top bureau officials referred to Clinton’s use of a private email server to send and receive classified information as ‘grossly negligent,’” the Daily Caller revealed last month. “But according to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the memo was changed on or around June 10 to refer to Clinton’s actions as merely ‘extremely careless.’”
Johnson’s concerns over the findings were communicated via a letter he sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“[The original] could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material,” Johnson expressed in his letter to the current FBI director. “The edited statement deleted the reference to gross negligence – a legal threshold for mishandling classified material – and instead replaced it with an exculpatory sentence.”
Mitigating Clinton’s legal culpability was the theme found throughout Comey’s pro-Hillary edits.
“The edits also showed that references to specific potential violations of statutes on ‘gross negligence’ regarding classified information and ‘misdemeanor handling’ were removed,” Gibson noted. “The final statement also removed a reference to the ‘sheer volume’ of classified information discussed on email.”
More of these disturbing discoveries were further relayed by Johnson.
“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” Johnson’s letter continued. “That includes repeated edits to reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information. In summary, the edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions.”
FBI a friend of Hillary, an enemy of Trump
In addition to the pro-Hillary edits, Johnson also mentioned newly exposed anti-Trump text messages between FBI officials who had worked on the Robert Mueller Russia probe.
Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok was one of the aforementioned officials – the one who actually switched the term “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”
“This effort, seen in light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an ‘insurance policy’ against Mr. Trump’s election, raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation by President Trump,” Johnson asserted.
The chairman went on to describe how Comey had sent a draft statement via an email to a number of top FBI officials, which essentially exonerated her of any criminal wrongdoing in May 2016. This means that the former FBI director found her not guilty two full months before two dozen interviews were completed by the FBI – interrogations that included Clinton herself.
“I’ve been trying to imagine what it would look like if I decided to do an FBI-only press event to close out our work and hand the matter to the DOJ,” Comey wrote at the top of the draft, according to Fox. “To help shape out discussions of whether that, or something different, makes sense, I have spent some time crafting what I would say, which follows. In my imagination, I don’t see me taking any questions. Here is what it might look like.”
In July 2016, Comey submitted his statement on the Clinton email case that identified her handling of confidential State Department information as “extremely careless” – complete with a recommendation that no criminal charges be waged against Clinton.
More to come …
Comey could face some serious legal consequences in the near future after the situation is analyzed more thoroughly.
“The Senate Homeland Security Committee is doing oversight of the Office of Special Counsel's investigation into whether Comey violated the Hatch Act with his statement,” Gibson noted. “The Hatch Act limits the political activities of federal employees.”
The underhanded dealings taking place under former President Barack Obama’s FBI will be examined in more detail on Tuesday.
“After a scheduling conflict last week, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee December 19,” Townhall reported. “He is expected to be asked about text messages Strzok sent to FBI Attorney Lisa Page, in which he referenced a discussion that took place in McCabe's office about an ‘insurance policy’ should Donald Trump with the presidency.”