The dam continues to break on allegations of spying on the Trump campaign and the list of former officials who have been shown to be liars gets longer and longer.
The person who most painted himself into a corner based on his former statements is likely James Clapper, who definitively said there was no surveillance of the Trump campaign last year. Now he admits it, claims he was just doing God’s work, and lectures TV viewers on calling out his lies.
James Comey’s past obfuscations are a bit more complicated but clearly calculated when analyzed in hindsight. Over a year ago, when asked about “wiretapping” on the Trump campaign at a Congressional hearing, he said he had no knowledge of such happening.
“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” he told the panel.
At the time he made those statements, Comey of course knew he had personally been involved in the vast surveillance operation targeted at the Trump campaign. Is it really truthful to answer that question saying you have no information of such happening?
There’s a word for someone that would make that argument. Obtuse.
Yet, I’m sure that’ll be the defense. Yes, Comey helped organize an operation that listened to phone calls, intercepted documents, and used human informants to spy on the Trump campaign, but he didn’t go down to an old switchboard and physically wiretap anyone!
Regardless, Comey has possibly been caught in a more pointed lie, namely about when the investigation into the Trump campaign started.
COMEY: It’s hard to say because I don’t how much longer it will take. But we’ve been doing this — this investigation began in late July, so for counterintelligence investigation that’s a fairly short period of time.
That’s Comey testifying back in March of 2017. He specifically cites the start of the investigation as July 2016.
This has been intertwined with allegations of George Papadopoulos getting drunk and blabbing about Clinton emails, which is said to be the trigger for the investigation. This would be the same George Papadopoulos who the FBI didn’t bother to even interview until almost a year later. We are supposed to believe that guy was the catalyst of the entire investigation, but I digress.
That convenient story, which only surfaced after the dossier became an issue for Trump-Russia conspiracy theorists, has a clear goal. It’s supposed to be the marker for 1) the start of the investigation in late July and 2) proof that investigation had a proper trigger.
Well, that’s being called into question now as well.
But now comes word of the FBI informant, described in various accounts as a retired American professor living in England. The Washington Post reported that, “The professor’s interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before the opening of the investigation, when Page met the professor at the British symposium.”
A few weeks before the opening of the investigation — those are the words that have raised eyebrows among Hill investigators. If it was before the investigation, then what was an FBI informant doing gathering undercover information when there was not yet an investigation?
In fact, it’s been revealed that attempts to infiltrate the campaign began as far back as the spring of 2016.
And that was all before what is called the formal beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation. It is in those mystery months — late March, April, May, June, and early July of 2016 — with the presidential campaign going at full force, that the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Republican candidate geared up.
That leaves two scenarios. The first is that James Comey lied about the start of the investigation to cover all this up. The second is that the FBI was attempting to infiltrate the Trump campaign before there was even a counter-intelligence investigation existent and before a viable trigger of cause was shown for it (i.e. learning of Papadopoulos’ outburst in late July).
Neither of those things makes James Comey look especially honest or ethical. The former would be a lie but the latter would show a much higher level of impropriety.
Never fear though, the countries most virtuous former official is here to set the record straight and lecture you on your grandchildren’s psyche.
Facts matter. The FBI’s use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?
— James Comey (@Comey) May 23, 2018
Translation: “Yeah, we lied about surveillance of Trump, but let me use this technical term to muddy the waters…and you should still trust us even though we lied. Also, think of the grand kids!”
This guy has zero shame. He’s emo-James Clapper. I’m not really sure how I’ll explain Comey’s lies to my grandchildren (when they exist), but I figure I’ll manage. In the meantime, maybe it’s time for James Comey to sit this one out. His credibly is shot and the virtue signaling is no longer effective.
Dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything. Americans must break out of that bubble and seek truth.
— James Comey (@Comey) May 23, 2018
The irony here is so thick you can cut it with a knife. One might even say he’s projecting. When former Obama officials lie about surveillance, feed their supporters excuses they know they’ll believe, and then have a media that will say anything to cover for their actions, that’s indeed dangerous.
These people are panicked. It’s palpable at this point.