Thomas Gallatin / Dec. 16, 2019

Comey Rebuked for False Spin on Horowitz Report

The disgraced former FBI director dismisses serious FISA abuse as just "sloppy mistakes."

James Comey once again displayed why he is the worst kind of lawman. In a hard-hitting interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday, the former FBI director was left spinning answers to the damning findings of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the FBI’s abuse of FISA applications. From the moment the report was released, Comey has downplayed the significance of Horowitz’s findings, distancing himself from any culpability for the “errors and mistakes” and painting himself and the FBI as the real victims.

Comey feigned that he would “be very concerned about [the IG’s findings] and diving into it,” but he pushed back on any notion that anyone in the FBI may have acted with intentionality against Donald Trump. Evidently, Comey doesn’t believe the overt anti-Trump and pro-Hillary text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page showed any bias. Hogwash.

While admitting that errors and mistakes did occur, Comey chalked them up to simple “sloppiness” that was done in good faith. (You know, kind of like Hillary Clinton’s email server.) Yet Wallace noted that Comey had previously asserted having full confidence in the FBI’s handling of the FISA warrants. Comey responded, “I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice Department have built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough.” He then deflected, “It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA [warrant]. I was overconfident in those because [Horowitz is] right: There was real sloppiness.”

Comey also lamely claimed that he was too distant from the Trump investigation to have been aware of the “significant errors” that occurred under his watch — even on the FISA warrant applications he repeatedly signed off on. “As the director, you’re not kept informed on the details of an investigation,” Comey asserted. “So no, in general I didn’t know what they’d learned from the sub-source. I didn’t know the particulars of the investigation.”

Wallace wasn’t buying that excuse. He pushed back, “But this isn’t some investigation, sir. This is an investigation of the campaign of the man who is the president of the United States. You had just been through a firestorm investigating Hillary Clinton. I would think if I had been in your position I would have been on that like a junkyard dog.” Comey then played Barack Obama’s favorite trick, claiming he was just too busy running a massive agency and that it would have been “impossible” to know all the details behind the FISA warrant application.

In one of the more telling exchanges, Wallace asked Comey if he would have resigned following Horowitz’s report if he had still been the FBI director. “No. I don’t think so,” Comey answered, adding, “There are mistakes I consider more consequential than this during my tenure.” Yikes.

Finally, Comey blasted as “an irresponsible statement” Attorney General William Barr’s assessment that the IG’s findings left open the possibility to infer bad faith by certain members within the FBI. Pot, meet kettle. Comey’s bad faith — and higher loyalty to Hillary Clinton — has been on display for some time to anyone willing to look. And as for Comey’s pathetically self-serving admissions, former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy aptly summed it up: “Sometimes … it’s better late than never, and sometimes it’s just too damn late. And in this case, Comey is about two years too late.”

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