The recent news that a draft version of James Comey’s decision on the Hillary Clinton matter exonerated the then-Democrat presidential nominee before investigators even talked to her isn’t just an unpleasant revelation for the former FBI director. It could also be evidence that he perjured himself before Congress.
And either way, one of the GOP’s most prominent senators wants Comey to explain himself under oath before the upper chamber.
The newest controversy, as Breitbart notes, centers around a bit of testimony that Comey gave the House Judiciary Committee in September involving his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email.
During that session, Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe asked Comey about when he made the decision as to whether Clinton should be charged.
“Director, did you make the decision not to recommend criminal charges relating to classified information before or after Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the FBI on July the 2nd?” Ratcliffe asked.
“After,” he responded.
We now know that one is right up there with “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Lindsey Graham, one of the senators who sent a letter to new FBI Director Christopher Wray over Comey’s draft decision, says that he wants Comey back before Congress.
“We now know that he had made up his mind to exonerate her before he even interviewed her, which is a bit odd,” Graham said on Fox News last week.
“He’s coming one way or the other,” Graham told Fox, responding affirmatively asked if a subpoena would be issued if Comey refuses to testify.
Graham has pointed to testimony from two former FBI officials who said Comey had essentially wrapped up the investigation before Clinton and 16 other witnesses had testified.
One of those officials, Jim Rybicki, said Comey had drafted and emailed around a statement exonerating Clinton in late April or early May, based on his “knowing the direction” in which the investigation was going.
Looking at the testimony that Comey had given before the House of Representatives, Comey’s decision doesn’t just stop at being unethical. It’s also perjurious. There is, of course, significant question of whether perjury can be proved — calling his decision a “draft statement” provides plenty of wiggle room for those who have plenty of wiggling to do.
However, if James Comey is resolved to wiggle, it’s essential that he wiggles before Congress and the American people. At present, the appearance is that this case was decided before the main suspect had even walked through the door of the interrogation room. After the revelations in the draft memo and the interviews with former FBI officials, I’m not entirely certain how one could even be disabused of that impression.
Either way, the former FBI director cannot and should not be allowed to exonerate himself by simply fading into the background, letting the blunders and perfidies of the bureau’s muffed investigation simply disappear into the ether.
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