Testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey revealed more obstruction from the Obama administration than President Donald Trump’s.
Comey testified that Loretta Lynch, who was the attorney general under Barack Obama, had successfully pressured him into downplaying and minimizing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails to the public.
Lynch, according to Comey, had demanded that he refer to the probe as a “matter” instead of an investigation, when he went public with confirming that the agency was involved.
“I wanted to know, was she going to authorize us to confirm we had an investigation, and she said, ‘Yes, but don’t call it that, call it a matter,'” Comey said. “And I said, ‘Why would I do that?’ And she said, ‘Just call it a matter.'”
The former FBI director stated that he was uncomfortable with what she had asked him to say, because it was false — and because it was exactly how the Clinton campaign had been attempting to spin it.
“It concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning,” Comey testified.
“I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general [Lynch] was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate,” he continued.
Ultimately, Comey went along with Lynch’s request — as it “wasn’t a hill worth dying on.” The February 2016 letter confirming the investigation referred to it as “matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.”
Comey also admit that Lynch’s pressure to downplay the situation, and her infamous meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac, were behind his press conference announcing that he would not be recommending charges.
When asked if he believed Lynch had a conflict of interest in the case, Comey stated “that’s fair.”
On the other hand, Comey testified that President Donald Trump never asked him to halt the agency’s investigation into Russian interference.
Democrats have been relentlessly demanding that Trump had engaged in obstruction of justice, but their theories have once again by shattered. Today’s disappointment for “Never Trumpers” and Democrats came from one simple question asked by Republican Senator Richard Burr.
“Did the president at any time ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections?” Burr, chairman of the committee, asked Comey.
“Not to my understanding, no.” Comey responded.
When asked if any member of the Trump administration asked him to cease the investigation, Comey also responded “no.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 8, 2017
It is interesting how Comey did not have any memos to leak to the press about Lynch — despite testifying that she had a conflict of interest and appeared to be working with the Clinton campaign on messaging.