Jim Comey is a liar. He’s not an artful prevaricator. He’s a liar.
He might think his lies are in furtherance of what he believes is a “higher calling,” but they are lies nonetheless.
He has denied in testimony this morning any knowledge on his part, in December 2016, that Igor Danchenko, the “Primary Sub-Source” (PSS) in the Steele Dossier memos, was identified as a Russian Agent in July 2010. This is an essential detail because Comey personally — as well as his Deputy Director Andy McCabe — fought to include information from Danchenko in the “Intelligence Community Assessment” on the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign. The Steele Dossier memos, among other things, described a coordinated effort between Russian governmental actors and persons connected to the Trump campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for President beginning in the summer of 2016.
Last week, the Director of National Intelligence declassified a memorandum from the FBI to Senator Lindsey Graham that says when the FBI uncovered the Primary Sub-Source’s identity in December 2016 — and there is a strong reason to believe the late Senator John McCain gave that identity TO JIM COMEY — the Crossfire Hurricane investigative team became aware that Danchenko was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation in 2010.
I wrote about the troubling revelation that Steele’s PSS was a known Russian Agent the day the letter was released.
It is important to understand that the 2010 investigation moved as far as the initial phase of seeking a FISA warrant to conduct electronic surveillance of Danchenko INSIDE the United States. That means — WITHOUT ANY DOUBT — that the FBI counterintelligence agents conducting that investigation determined that Danchenko WAS A RUSSIAN AGENT. That is a necessary finding to take the step towards FISA surveillance. Without that, finding an investigation cannot go in the direction of a FISA warrant.
Jim Comey testified this morning in response to a question from Sen. Grassley that:
“I don’t remember any information reaching me about any investigation of the source of Steele’s, and I know now from the public record that there was some investigation back in 2009. That can cut both ways so I don’t know how the people working on the investigation thought about that.”
That is a non-answer and a lie in several respects.
The investigation started in 2009 but continued into the summer of 2010 when the counterintelligence agents looking into Danchenko learned he had left the United States when his visa was not renewed. The “public record” — the released letter from the FBI to the Senate — goes through a number of significant facts uncovered by the investigation — and ALL those facts “cut one way,” not “both ways” as Comey suggests. So much so that they led the Agents in 2010 to begin the process of seeking a FISA warrant to obtain historical communication contents of Danchenko. The counterintelligence file on Danchenko was not closed until 2011.
When COMEY learns of Danchenko’s identity as the PSS and passes that along to the Crossfire Hurricane team, the idea that the team would uncover the 2009-2011 investigation and NOT immediately push that information back up to McCabe and Comey where the PSS identification came from is simply “laugh out loud” funny.
Why do I say Comey gave them the identification? Because we know from prior testimony that Christopher Steele communicated the identities of his sources to only ONE person to suggest the credibility of his reporting in his Dossier memos:
This part of the OIG report bothers me. It's not an accurate description of Kramer's testimony. Kramer didn't say he couldn't recall the names of Steele's sources. pic.twitter.com/DpNVQt5mvR
— WrayIsCloggingtheSwampDrain (@15poundstogo) July 21, 2020
David Kramer was one of John McCain’s most trusted aides. McCain dispatched Kramer to meet with Steele in London in November after the election. During that meeting, Steele wrote down the “true names” of his “sub-sources” for Kramer. From the IG Report at P. 175-176
The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson…. According to deposition testimony the McCain Institute staff member provided in foreign litigation, during this visit Steele discussed his reporting with the staff member and showed the staff member a piece of paper on which Steele had written the true names of his subsources, although the staff member could not recall them. Steele told us that he shared some of the sub-source names with the staff member because the staff member was a “Russia expert” and had been tasked by Senator McCain to determine whether Steele’s reporting was serious.
…[O]n December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI. McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute.
Who believes that Kramer did not tell McCain the name of the sub-source? Danchenko was not an unknown person in the foreign affairs world — he was a prominent employee at Brookings. His name was certainly known by Kramer, as well as his background.
So if McCain knew his name from Kramer, who thinks McCain didn’t give the identities of the sub-sources — including Danchenko — to Comey at the same time he gave Comey the 16 Steele memos, including five the FBI had never seen before?
And who thinks that after the CH team was given the identity of the PSS from the very top — Comey down to McCabe down to the CH team he was running along with Strzok — and they learned that Danchenko — the PSS — had been investigated and determined to be a “Russia Agent,” the CH team did not ROCKET that information right back up to McCabe and Comey?
And this is in the same few weeks in December 2016 the ICA was being assembled.
I wrote previously about Comey’s involvement in that process and his efforts to include the Steele Dossier information from the PSS — Danchenko.
The CIA first learned that the FBI wanted the information from the Steele memos “woven” into the ICA on December 20, 2016. On December 27, 2016, McCabe participated in a Deputies Conference to resolve the issue of how the Steele information would be included in the ICA.
Comey’s testimony today that he doesn’t remember when the information about Danchenko made it to him is a lie and would be scoffed at by any jury in the United States.
Maybe that might still happen.