OPINION | Ken Pittman: Mr. Comey, There is Just One More Thing
James Comey, the former Director of the FBI, recently and reluctantly admitted to having an informant (or spy) in the Trump campaign as far back as the end of July, 2016. However, we now know the FBI's informant (or spy) began his work on Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page in early July 2016. So Mr. Comey told an untruth, which we'll call Untruth No. 1.
The identity of the informant (or spy) was kept secret even from House Intelligence committee leaders by the FBI. They said, it was for his own safety. The informant (or spy), Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, was identified as the likely person in March of 2018, but almost completely outed officially by the New York Times and Washington Post on the same day, May 18.
If the public was made aware of Halper being the source for the FBI, those who the FBI said "would harm" Halper were well aware for several months, and not a hair on his head has been harmed. In fact, the Washington Post just approached Halper for a statement on all this, and he declined to comment. But the fact is, he was available for a typical reporter to approach. How concerned can the Department of Justice really be for his well being?
He isn't in hiding, he is at his job, out to restaurants and not in any "safehouse," holed up with protection from some kill team (we'll call this Untruth No. 2). I suggest they were trying to obstruct his identity for no other plausible reason than information blocking.
By the way, Halper was implicated in a spying scandal in which CIA officials gave inside information on the Carter administration to the GOP (Reagan) campaign. So he was a spy in this exact scenario in the past, but the FBI said in 2018, "No..not a spy, an informant."
Now I'll bring up former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee in 2016 and how the FBI tone and actions surrounding her in 2016 were, shall we say, less vigilant? The contrast needs to be considered here. She disobeyed the law and the State Department's national security policies for all of their employed. She ignored the warnings of President Obama, when she used a secret private Internet server (one Comey described as being easy to hack).
She even admitted she used it to evade FOIA requests by communicating outside of document-able public record, even including many hundreds of classified, top secret documents. Her server was not protected by the government's state-of-the-art security.
Keep in mind, in 2012, Hillary Clinton's strange inaction and odd decision making during the Benghazi attack was challenged and records were demanded. Sure they were provided... from her State Department email server. Benghazi Investigators didn't know about this secret server in the basement of her D.C. home, until March of 2015. Hundreds of thousands of records were "bleached' aka deleted and wiped from the server records by then.
To be clear, there still has been no publicly acknowledged event proving Clinton's server was actually hacked into and compromised. The FBI has only admitted that it appears several attempts to hack into the server were made, but insist that there was no hard traces of it being hacked.
Oh, I learned that Russian hacking experts would leave no traces. I don't know about you but I feel safe in saying she was hacked.
The concern at this time was, what did the hackers presumed to be Russians, obtain? We know it was probably everything on the server, but what does that even mean? We do not know everything that was on there, because Madam Secretary ignored the congressional subpoena to surrender the server for U.S. intelligence computer experts to assess the damage and size of the leak due to the hacking.
Mrs. Clinton not only ignored the subpoena, she destroyed the lion's share of the documents on it. For most Americans, this is an arrestable offense. For Hillary Rodham Clinton, she was presumed innocent by the man charged to gather evidence against her.
The FBI isn't in the business of judging right from wrong.They are in the business of gathering evidence so that the prosecutors in the Justice Department can determine if a crime occurred. Deciding intent is for the Attorney General's office.
So, Director Comey read this letter to the public just days before the November 8, 2016 election. A letter which basically called Secretary Clinton careless but which presumed that she did not mean to break any laws. Even worse, Comey didn't write this letter which he read to the public. It was ghost-authored by the fired and now disgraced Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife was, at that time, receiving $700,000 for her state senate race from Clinton ally, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe!
This letter stating a lack of evidence showing Clinton's intentions to intentionally break the law and clearing her of crimes was written on May 16, 2016, almost two months before they ever even interviewed her on July 2, 2016!
Let's call Comey's actual belief that he was convinced Hillary did not mean to break any laws by destroying subpoenaed documents on her server Untruth No. 3.
First of all, his subordinate McCabe wrote "Comey's" conclusions before Clinton was ever interviewed.
What investigator in history, especially with his credentials, would clear a person of all wrongdoing before that person was interviewed by expert criminal investigators? She proved that she had no issues boldly destroying evidence already subpoenaed (making it the government's property).
So Mr. Comey, now that we know your position and your alleged concern for Russian elections manipulation in the summer of 2016, why did you not seek a warrant and seize the server right from the home of Hillary Rodham Clinton to find out how many national secrets were stolen?
The FBI under the Obama Administration got a FISA warrant from Obama-appointed Judge Rudolph Contreras, to infiltrate the despised opponent of the President of the United States' preferred candidate in Hillary Clinton.
Look, I'm just a private detective and not a highly trained federal investigator, but on the other hand, as both a PI and political analyst, I have some problems with at least the information that we are allowed to know:
--When Comey asked for the FISA Warrant on July 29 to begin investigating the Trump campaign, his planted informant Stefan Halper was already working on entrapping Carter Page weeks earlier, in early July.
--Comey did not (on record) inform Judge Contreras that much of the information that he presented to the judge for the FISA warrant was paid for by the Campaign to Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton.
--Comey had Clinton interviewed by FBI agents, but one of the caveats was that she was not to be sworn in. This intentionally neuters the powers of the FBI by voiding any chance of seeing federal charges of lying to an FBI agent. How can we see any other reason for Comey to agree to this but in case she wanted to lie in this interview?
It doesn't sound like Comey had great concern for stolen top secret documents by Russians trying to rig the elections to me. And, she did lie! She said she didn't send any top secret emails out of that server, but the FBI eventually found 81 email chains with classified information.
CIA Director John Brennan also had no public problems with this conduct, as he basically openly supported Hillary Clinton. Does this attitude sound like the people in charge of our national security were really worried about Russian Intelligence infiltrating the White House via Donald Trump?
No one--Trump, Putin and especially the Obama Administration--thought Donald Trump was going to win the GOP nomination and the general election on November 8, 2016. The panic on the faces of Democratic icons on that night and for weeks after, on such experienced politicians, pundits and advisers, were so adamantly animated.
Could it be that the election lost by their beloved Hillary Clinton was not the sole explanation for these not so greatly hidden examples of panic? This new level of bereavement not seen by this guy before leads me to believe that it's possible they knew that the unthinkable result of Trump winning, would also bring about the revelation of the abuses of power of the highest offices of our nation throughout most of 2016. Abuses of office that could put many powerful pillars of Washington behind bars?
Is there complete panic in the idea that Americans and the world are going to see and hear how Trump's legal team unveiled an illegal covert cooperation between America's intelligence community, and news media outlets like CNN, who were kept apprised of the Trump/Russian collusion investigation even while President-elect Donald J. Trump was kept in the dark?
From here, it seems so...Bigly.
"The inability or unwillingness of citizens to differentiate between fake and authentic news is undermining a fundamental assumption of democracy: the informed voter" -- Richard Edelman
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RadioKenPittman. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.