What? James Comey on Fox New?
Courtesy of The Guardian:
James Comey, the former director of the FBI who has become a prime nemesis of Donald Trump, admitted on Sunday to being responsible for “real sloppiness” over the handling of surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser.
But he fiercely defended himself and the bureau against any suggestion of political bias.
Comey seized on one of Michael Horowitz’s main conclusions, that there was no evidence of political bias in the investigation, to launch an impassioned critique of how he and his FBI colleagues had been treated by Trump.
“The FBI was accused of treason, of illegal spying, of tapping Mr Trump’s wires illegally, of opening an investigation without justification, of being a criminal conspiracy to unseat a president. All that was nonsense.”
He also had pointed words for Fox News: “Remember, I was going to jail, lots of other people were going to jail. People on this network said it over and over again … The American people, especially your viewers, need to realise they were given false information about the FBI.”
At the same time, Comey was forced under persistent questioning by Wallace to admit he presided over serious mistakes in the course of applying for permission to place former Trump adviser Carter Page under surveillance. The IG report gives details of 17 “significant errors and omissions” in the way four applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court were made from October 2016, the first two on Comey’s watch.
Asked to explain the contrast between the report’s criticism of serious problems in the Fisa process and his earlier defense of the FBI’s actions as “thoughtful and appropriate”, Comey replied that Horowitz “was right, I was wrong”.
“I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI had built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough. It’s incredibly hard to get a Fisa and he was right there was real sloppiness. It was not acceptable.”
The first thing that must be pointed out is that neither Micahel Horowitz or James Comey are suggesting that Carter Page should not have been surveilled, only that the case to do so was not handled as professionally as they believe it should ahve been handled.
The really important takeway from the report is that the FBI did not demonstrate any political bias in opening the investigation.
Having said that I want to point out that this investigation did NOTHING to damage Trump’s election chances, because it was kept secret from the voters.
Instead the real interference from the FBI came when James Comey announced that they had reopened the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
That announcement changed everything, and rather than hurt Trump it in fact was likely the thing that helped him to win the election
That along with the Russian interference that is.
So whether or not the FISA subpoena against Carter Page was legitimate makes virtually no difference.
What we know for a fact is that the FBI helped Trump by keeping an investigation into his campaign quiet, while blabbing to the media about a Clinton email investigation that actually would mean absolutely nothing in the long run.
That is the point which needs to be hammered home time and time again.