Well, one thing is clear again: ex-FBI Director James Comey has no idea what was going on in his department during the entirety of the counterintelligence probe into Russian collusion during the 2016 election. He knew it was going on but can’t remember anything about it. his testimony thus far can be summed up in three words. I. Know. Nothing.
Graham reads into the record a letter from the DOJ Office of Intelligence attorney who put together the Carter Page FISA saying that he/she would not sign it today knowing then what they know now.— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) September 30, 2020
Graham notes that Igor Danchenko, the source for the dossier that was purchased by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, was suspected of being a spy and national security threat. This obviously should have killed any use of dossier by apolitical intel agencies.— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 30, 2020
Graham asks Comey about the investigative referral sent directly to him on 9/7/16, re: Clinton's approval of a plan concerning Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distraction from email server. Comey: "Doesn't ring a bell."— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 30, 2020
Graham now pointing out that Carter Page made truthful statements that should have affected the FBI's decision to investigate. Comey pretty much saying he can't remember anything and didn't know anything.— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 30, 2020
Comey is now claiming he doesn't know anything about the source of the Steele dossier claims he briefed to Trump and then had leaked to CNN, and that he definitely doesn't know anything about the sub-source telling the FBI in early 2017 that claims sourced to him were false.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 30, 2020
Grassley notes that Comey was warned repeatedly by intelligence officials in early 2017 that the Steele dossier was false and riddled with Russian disinformation.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 30, 2020
Comey claims he doesn't remember any of that.
According to Graham, the U.S. intel community warned the FBI in December of 2016 that the Trump/Ritz dossier claim was false, Russian disinformation that was funneled into the dossier by Russian intelligence who had infiltrated Christopher Steele's source network.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 30, 2020
James Comey just said the FBI director has no responsibility, before signing a FISA application, to determine whether the allegations within it are true.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 30, 2020
Comey has repeatedly claimed, against all evidence, that Carter Page wasn't working with the CIA and that Igor Danchenko--the Steele dossier's primary source--wasn't a Russian intelligence asset.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 30, 2020
His need to believe the Steele dossier was gospel is pathological.
Comey just testified that everyone agreed that Steele's garbage should at a minimum be in the ICA annex—the dispute was whether it should be in the main body or the annex.— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) September 30, 2020
Completely contradicted by the SSCI report which said that IC didn't want Steele's garbage in there at all.
Big Picture:— Sharyl Attkisson???? (@SharylAttkisson) September 30, 2020
At hearing, Comey is defending an investigation that followed an entirely wrong trail & unfairly damaged many.
Two fair possibilities: either the investigation was politically motivated, or our intel officials are the worst case of Keystone Cops in our time.
.@LindseyGrahamSC now asking former @FBI Dir James Comey about the declassified @ODNIgov docs re the Russian intelligence assessment during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing... https://t.co/OLUyyE4fRg— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) September 30, 2020
.@LindseyGrahamSC: "You don't recall getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community?...September the 7th..."— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) September 30, 2020
Comey: "That doesn't ring a bell with me"
Graham: "That's a pretty stunning thing, it didn't ring a bell but it did come to you"
"...who hired a #Russia|n subsource who the @FBI believed to be a Russian spy to compile a dossier that was a bunch of crap to be used against an American citizen working for the #Trump campaign" per @LindseyGrahamSC "Seems to me you'd want to investigate other allegations"— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) September 30, 2020
"All I can say is that you believe it would be a dereliction of duty not to look at #Trump-#Russia" @LindseyGrahamSC tells Comey— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) September 30, 2020
"I'm not here to argue that somebody should look. I'm not here to argue that it was somebody other than the Russians who hacked into the DNC...."
Former investigative reporter for CBS News Sharyl Attkisson aptly noted that there can only be two conclusions to this circus act, which is that our intelligence community has undergone a horrific transformation in which the most incompetent members have risen to the top, true Keystone Cops stuff, or that Comey and the FBI oversaw a politically motivated witch hunt. It’s one or the other.
James Comey had no opening statement. He wanted to get to the committee members questions, but not before Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) entered a letter from the DOJ Office of Intelligence attorney who compiled the FISA warrant against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official, which said that knowing what they know now this person would not have signed off on this fiasco, repeating what former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said.
Page was targeted based on the shoddy and unverified Steele Dossier (aka Trump Dossier), which started this whole investigation. Comey denies this, though he noted that the dossier was an important, small part of this whole investigation.
Michael Flynn and Carter Page are two victims of this sham investigation. Flynn is still in legal purgatory. Page was never charged with any of the bogus Russia allegations that led to the Obama DOJ issuing a spy warrant against him. And here we have James Comey sitting here today pretty much saying he had no clue what was going on
“What astounds me the most, is that the director of the FBI is completely clueless about any of the information obtained by his agency,” Graham said.
Yeah, sort of an understatement as this hearing continues.
To make things more embarrassing, when asked 'when and if' the Trump dossier was verified, Comey prevaricated again. Again, it seems like this document was probably never verified, despite being cited as credible evidence in the Carter FISA warrant. The errors in it are glaring, so bad that a simple Google search can fact-check them. And now, the sub-source for the dossier is now exposed as a Russian spy and a national security threat at the time this document was compiled by Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 spook who the Clinton campaign and the Democrats hired to get dirt on Trump.
This was a piece of political opposition research that was weaponized by the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign and to go after its members. So, I can see why Comey took the 'aloof in the clouds' approach.