“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov
Congressmen urge White House to release alleged recordings, as pressure grows for Jeff Sessions to appear publicly for Senate intelligence committee hearing
Days after James Comey’s blockbuster testimony, both Republicans and Democrats on Sunday called for the White House to release any tapes that may exist of a private conversation between the former FBI director and the president.
Republican senator Susan Collins said she would support a subpoena to the White House to release any alleged tapes as Donald Trump launched new attacks on the fired FBI boss, saying he believed he was behind further leaks to the media.
There were also growing calls for the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to appear in public when he goes in front of the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday, as it investigates Russian meddling in the presidential election. It is not yet clear if the hearing will be closed or open.
Speaking about suggestions that there may be tapes of Trump and Comey’s disputed conversations relating to Russia, Collins said on CNN’s State of the Union: “I would be fine with issuing a subpoena. But that most likely would come from the special counsel’s office.”
She said she hoped the president would release the tapes “voluntarily”.
Trump and his aides have dodged questions about whether conversations relevant to the Russia investigation have been recorded. Pressed on the issue Friday, Trump said: “I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future.”
The FBI hasn’t decided how to correct the director’s false claim that she forwarded thousands of Clinton emails to the laptop computer of her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
FBI director James Comey generated national headlines last week with his dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining his “incredibly painful” decision to go public about the Hillary Clinton emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
Perhaps Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton messages to her husband, “some of which contain classified information.” Comey testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss. (Weiner’s laptop was seized after he came under criminal investigation for sex crimes, following a media report about his online relationship with a teenager.)
The New York Post plastered its story on the front page with a photo of an underwear-clad Weiner and the headline: “HARD COPY: Huma sent Weiner classified Hillary emails to print out.” The Daily News went with a similar front-page screaer: “HUMA ERROR: Sent classified emails to sext maniac Weiner.”
The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.
FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.
WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, took the extraordinary step on Monday of announcing that the F.B.I. is investigating whether members of President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Mr. Comey’s remarks before the House Intelligence Committee created a treacherous political moment for Mr. Trump, who has insisted that “Russia is fake news” that was cooked up by his political opponents to undermine his presidency. Mr. Comey placed a criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House and said agents would pursue it “no matter how long that takes.”
The New York Times and other news organizations have reported the existence of the investigation into the Trump campaign and its relationship with Russia, but the White House dismissed those reports as politically motivated and rallied political allies to rebut them. Mr. Comey’s testimony on Monday was the first public acknowledgment of the case. The F.B.I. typically discloses its investigations only in the rare circumstances when officials believe it is in the public interest.
“This is one of those circumstances,” Mr. Comey said.
Counterintelligence investigations are among the F.B.I.’s most difficult and time-consuming cases, meaning the cloud of a federal investigation could hang over the Trump administration for years.
Clinton campaign ‘glad that FBI email investigation has been resolved’
The FBI has determined that a new batch of emails linked to Hillary Clinton’s private email server “have not changed our conclusion” that she committed no criminal wrongdoing, FBI director James Comey told congressional leaders in a letter on Sunday.
The Democratic nominee’s opponent, Donald Trump, reacted with anger at the news, and cast doubt on whether the FBI had even carried out its work. “You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days,” Donald Trump told a campaign rally in Sterling Heights, Michigan on Sunday evening.
The move, so close to an election, proved tremendously controversial. In July, Comey had announced that Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless” but that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against them.
Former DOJ officials disagree on whether James Comey overstepped the bounds of his office with his statement
When FBI Director James Comey took the podium at the J. Edgar Hoover Building on Tuesday to address the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system during her time as secretary of state, he acknowledged at the outset that his remarks would be unusual.
“I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest,” Comey explained, stressing that he had not coordinated with the Department of Justice or any other government agency before delivering his statement.
Comey proceeded to announce that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton, but not before providing a detailed account of the investigation, during which Comey was sharply critical of Clinton and her team, calling their actions “extremely careless.”
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said.
Comey emphasized that the FBI’s work had not been affected by the highly politicized atmosphere surrounding the Clinton email flap, which was heightened further last week by Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s controversial meeting with Bill Clinton and subsequent announcement that she would accept whatever recommendations federal prosecutors and the FBI made regarding whether to bring charges stemming from the investigation.