James Comey Testifies At Trey Gowdy, Because 2016 WON'T F*CKING DIE
Let's save some time with this Executive Summary of the House Judiciary and Overisight Commitees' eleventieth interview of James Comey on Friday.
MEDIOCRE GOP LAWYER: Leading question based on classified information taken out of context?
SUPERLAWYER COMEY: Sorry, can't answer that.
MGL: But what if I phrase it as a thinly veiled hypothetical?
SC: Sorry, can you repeat the question?
MGL: But what--
SC: Psych! Just kidding. STILL NO.
Thanks for reading your Wonkette, don't forget to tip your server!
What, you want more? OKAY OKAY.
Everybody Hates Gaetz
Matt Gaetz kicked off the party by insisting that he hadn't been consulted when Comey and Chairman Bob Goodlatte agreed that the transcript of the hearing would be made public after 24 hours and everyone would wait until the end of the day to go on television and call each other a damn dirty liar. What about Matt's FREEZE PEACH?
I wanted to state that I was not a party to any such agreement and don't consider myself bound by it. I also don't know of any provision in the Constitution, the rules of the House, or any federal law that would prohibit members of the committee from engaging in free speech, debate, and opining at any time.
Then Reps. Trey Gowdy, Goodlatte and Jerry Nadler took turns kicking Matt Gaetz in the dick. And they say bipartisanship is dead!
Trey Gowdy, Still Massive Tool
Is Trey Gowdy noping out of Congress so he can go stalk Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua with that nutbag Pirro? That guy spends more time thinking about Hillary Clinton than Hillary Clinton does. He started off by referring to the BUT HER EMAILS episode as a violation of the Espionage Act. To which Comey replied, REALLY, DUDE?
COMEY: The reason I'm hesitating, Mr. Gowdy, is I've never applied the label of Espionage Act investigation. It was an investigation into the mishandling of classified information. I don't mean to quibble, but that's how I thought of it and talked about it.
Then it was time for Gowdy to do his impression of Johnny Cochran's Chewbacca Defense, because Peter Strzok once said, "Hillary should win 100 million to zero."
GOWDY: In the course of human history, has anyone won an election 100 million to zero, to your knowledge?
COMEY: In the United States?
COMEY: I don't mean to be facetious. I can't speak to Stalin's reelection or Mao Tse-tung reelection campaigns. In --
GOWDY: 100 million to zero is a lot.
COMEY: Sure. I'm not trying to be facetious, but I remember as a student the vote in Soviet Russia was 99.9 percent to --
GOWDY: We are going to get to Russia in a little bit. We'll get to Russia in a little bit.
COMEY: So in the -- I can answer your question, Mr. Gowdy. In the United States, I'm not aware of any such lopsided vote.
WHY WOULD A WOOKIEE WANT TO LIVE ON ENDOR? THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!
Chewbacca defense www.youtube.com
Then it was on to another hundred verses of PAGE AND STRZOK ARE BIASSSSSSS because they hated Donald Trump just as much as the rest of America does. Yadda yadda yadda.
Would James Comey like to say that the FBI deliberately targeted Donald Trump? No? Okay, just checking.
GOWDY: Late July of 2016, the FBI did, in fact, open a counterintelligence investigation into, is it fair to say the Trump campaign or Donald Trump himself?
COMEY: It's not fair to say either of those things, in my recollection. We opened investigations on four Americans to see if there was any connection between those four Americans and the Russian interference effort. And those four Americans did not include the candidate.
Were You Wondering If Mueller's Investigating Trump For Obstruction of Justice? HE IS.
The DEEP STATE sent FBI lawyer Cecilia Bessee to make sure James Comey didn't spill the beans on any pending investigations or classified material, which made James Comey skip like a happy little girl, according to departing GOP Congressman Darrell Issa.
So long, Darrell! Don't let the doorknob hit you in the crack of the stolen car.
But back to the obstruction of justice investigation, which James Comey must be gleefully silent on.
BESSEE: He is entitled to his opinion, but to the extent -- because he also stated that he is also a witness in the investigation.
GOWDY: Which investigation is he a witness in?
BESSEE: To the special counsel. He said he is a potential witness.
GOWDY: Well, you just said witness. Is there an obstruction of justice investigation?
BESSEE: I believe there is an investigation that the special counsel is looking into.
Well, shit, no wonder Mueller's taking so long! If he has to tally up all Trump's obstruction, we'll be here FOREVER.
Après Trey, Le Déluge
As bad as Gowdy is, the rest of GOP bench is thiiiiiiin. With Trey heading back to South Carolina (or upstate New York), the GOP Oversight lawtalker in chief will be Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe, a guy who actually manages to make Jim Jordan look smart!
After spending several minutes shouting TARMAC, TARMAC, TARMAC, Ratcliffe posed a bunch of questions which allowed Comey to splain how he did exactly what he was supposed to do. Well-played, Johnny!
Why wasn't the interview with Hillary Clinton recorded?
COMEY: The interview wasn't recorded because the FBI does not record noncustodial, voluntary interviews.
Why wasn't Hillz dragged before the grand jury?
COMEY: You'll have to clear a grand jury, which is really tricky, and both because of the intrusion on their private lives and just how difficult it is to clear 23 US citizens who have been summoned for jury duty. And so you have to figure out what can we discuss in the grand jury and what can't we discuss in the grand jury. So what you're gaining with the informal interview is, in a SCIF, an agility that you wouldn't have in a grand jury and then the ability of a group of investigators all to fire at the person and watch and poke and watch and poke in a way you can't in a grand jury.
Why did Comey draft the memo saying Clinton was sloppy but not criminal before actually interviewing her?
COMEY: You'd be incompetent if you didn't have a view of the case after a year. And, as I said, as I said to the inspector general, it didn't look to me like there was a substantive case there. But you're about to interview the subject, and so you want to keep your mind open to the possibility that you will develop something that needs to be pursued.
What does it mean to say that a document is "verified" for the purposes of the FISA court?
COMEY: Well, it was coming to us from a reliable source with a track record, and it's an important thing when you're seeking a PC warrant. But what I understand by verified is we then try to replicate the source information so that it becomes FBI investigation and our conclusions rather than a reliable source's. That's what I understand it, the difference to be. And that work wasn't completed by the time I left in May of 2017, to my knowledge.
Just to be clear, Comey is saying that verification, for purposes of the FISA court, means confirming that your source actually said what the warrant represents, not going out and chasing down your source's sources, BRIT.
Is Congressman Ratcliffe a whinyass toddler who just got spanked?
COMEY: Yep. I believed it then, I believe it now. And anybody that thinks we were on team Clinton trying to cut her a break is smoking something.
RATCLIFFE: I'll object to everything after "yep" as non-responsive to my question.
Are James Comey And Robert Mueller Gaymos In Love?
It wasn't just Gippers rubbing one out for old times' sake before they have to hand back that sticky gavel. Democrats also got to ask questions of James Comey. Sheila Jackson Lee read Comey the riot act for throwing the election because of Anthony Weiner's stupid laptop. WHICH WE ARE STILL MAD ABOUT!
Then Democrat Jerry Nadler asked the question that's been on everyone's mind since Trump told the Daily Caller that Comey and Mueller are totes friends with benefits.
NADLER: Are you best friends with Robert Mueller?
COMEY: I am not. I admire the heck out of the man, but I don't know his phone number, I've never been to his house, I don't know his children's names. I think I had a meal once alone with him in a restaurant. I like him. I am not a -- I'm an associate of his who admires him greatly. We're not friends in any social sense.
NADLER: Thank you. I will not ask whether you've ever hugged and kissed him.
COMEY: A relief to my wife.
Oh, come on, you can tell us. It'll just be our little secret.
COMEY: I have never hugged or kissed the man. Again, I'm an admirer but not that kind of admirer.
DAMMIT! On the plus side, it's probably too late for Trump and Meatball to murder the Special Counsel investigation, as Comey explained to Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen.
COHEN: If Mr. Mueller were fired, how would that affect further investigations of crime that are ongoing now?
COMEY: I don't know at this point. I don't know. And as an informed outsider, I think that it would -- you'd almost have to fire everyone in the FBI and the Justice Department to derail the relevant investigations, but I don't know exactly what the effect would be.
Not sexy, but we'll take it. Want to call the president an unpatriotic liar who's destroying the country, long as you're talking on the record?
COMEY: Some people are angry because they've been lied to for so long about the nature and quality of the FBI and the Department of Justice. [...] Lied to by the president and his supporters about the nature and quality of the Department of Justice and the FBI. It's shortsighted, and anybody who knows those organizations, knows it's not true.
NADLER: And what implications might there be under the Justice Department and the rule of law?
COMEY: Those kind of lies hurt the ability of the FBI to be believed at a doorway or in a courtroom. That makes all of us less safe. These are honest institutions made up of normal flawed human beings, but people committed to doing things the right way. When they're lied about constantly, it hurts the faith and confidence of the American people in them, and that is bad for all of us. I don't care what your political stripe is. [...] Our national security turns upon the ability of an FBI agent to convince the girlfriend of a jihadi that we will protect her if she cooperates with us. If we're seen as a political group of one kind or another, an untrustworthy group, that trust is eroded and the agent loses the ability to make that case. If a jury doesn't believe an FBI agent when he or she says, I found this or I heard this in the course of this case, we're less safe because the case can't be made.
Trey Gowdy, GO THE FUCK AWAY!
Gowdy is back to ask how even it is a crime to try to shut down a criminal investigation if the investigation doesn't actually get shut down, HENNNNNGH?
GOWDY: So it would be the failure of an essential element of an obstruction of justice case if the person who received that information did not view it as an attempt to impact his decisionmaking?
COMEY: I don't think that's right as a matter of law. I don't think the reaction of the object of the obstructive effort, their perception, is dispositive.
Same as if you try to rob a bank, but the teller doesn't give you any money, you're home like Scott Free!
Also, too, isn't Loretta Lynch talking to Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Arizona exactly the the same as Michael Flynn covertly discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador. And by that logic, isn't Obama telling Fox News that Lynch made a "mistake" exactly the same as Trump asking Comey to "let Flynn go"? And did we just have a stroke, or did Trey Gowdy?
Can We Get Back To Planet Earth?
LOL, funny story! Turns out that they just thought he was a really, really good liar who didn't have any tells like sweating or blinking a lot.
COMEY: I think that reporting that you've seen is the product of a garble. What I recall telling the House Intelligence Committee is that the agents observed none of the common indicia of lying -- physical manifestations, changes in tone, changes in pace -- that would indicate the person I'm interviewing knows they're telling me stuff that ain't true. They didn't see that here. It was a natural conversation, answered fully their questions, didn't avoid. That notwithstanding, they concluded he was lying.
They knew damn well Flynn was lying about his conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak because they had the conversation on tape.
OH, FFS! Isn't This Thing Over Yet?
Almost! Mark Meadows tried to GOTCHA Comey for investigating the Russian ratfucking before Papadopoulos blabbed to the Australian diplomat that the Russians had Hillary's emails, Jim Jordan tried to GOTCHA Comey for not telling Sessions that Trump tried to murder the Flynn investigation, and Gowdy would like Comey to imagine a world in which the FBI actually paid Chris Steele for the Pee Dossier.
COMEY: My recollection is that the FBI was not paying him, that the FBI had reimbursed him for some travel expenses and had raised the prospect that if there was fruitful further work, he could be paid for it. But my recollection is that he was not paid. These are the things I remember learning when I was Director. Could be wrong, but I think that's what I was told.
GOWDY: I think you have answered the next question then. Assuming that you are incorrect and the FBI was paying him, you don't recall how much the FBI paid him?
COMEY: Well, as I said, my recollection is that he was reimbursed for expenses and that he was not paid for his work in connection with the Russia subject, but that the prospect was raised. So, of course, given that I don't recall that he was paid for his work, the answer would be I don't recall how much he was paid because he wasn't paid, in my recollection.
Also, RUDY GIULIANI, CALL YOUR LAWYER because the DOJ is investigating all those leaks to you from the FBI's New York Office.
COMEY: I was concerned that there appeared to be in the media a number of stories that might have been based on communications reporters or non-reporters like Rudy Giuliani were having with people in the New York field office. In particular, in I want to say mid-October, maybe a little bit later, Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York. And then my recollection is there were other stories that were in the same ballpark that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem -- unauthorized disclosure problem out of New York, and so I asked that it be investigated.
IL REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: Oh, okay. So the investigation began at some point after you asked for the investigation to start?
COMEY: I think sometime in October, maybe they didn't get going on it until November, an effort led by our internal affairs component, as I understand it, began to try and understand, do we have leaks and what are they?
Then Comey called Trump a mob boss, Matt Gaetz whined some more, and they all agreed to meet back there some more next week. Because maybe this time the GOP will ask just the right question and Comey will admit that Hillary Clinton Benghazied her emails and the FBI totally tried to murder poor innocent Donald Trump.
LOCK THEM UP.
Follow your FDF on Twitter!
Please click here to fund your Wonkette, who just spent a lot of time with Trey Freakin' Gowdy FOR YOU! Show us some love!
Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!