Mr. Comey said he went public on Oct. 28 because he believed that the emails found by his agents might provide insight into Mrs. Clinton’s reasons for using a private server as secretary of state and might change the outcome of the investigation. Failing to inform Congress, Mr. Comey said, would have a required an “act of concealment.”
“Concealment, in my view, would have been catastrophic,” he said, adding later that he knew the decision would be “disastrous for me personally.”
What Mr. Comey viewed as concealing, Justice Department officials viewed simply as following the rules. The F.B.I. does not normally confirm ongoing investigations. Senior Justice Department officials urged him not to send a letter to Congress informing them that the bureau was examining the new emails.
I have to say that I was made more than just mildly nauseous by Comey's contention that he only had two choices before him, and that he made the one that he believed would NOT be "catastrophic."
In my opinion the truth is just the exact opposite, and that if Hillary had won, and it had been revealed that Comey kept quiet about any new evidence, it would only have added more fodder for the investigations that the Republicans were already preparing to launch once she was in the White House.
In the end it would only have resulted in some Republicans bitching about Comey on Twitter and then calling him to endlessly testify before Congress about what he learned, which they would have done if Clinton won no matter what he had said, or not said, before the election.
After listening to Comey's testimony I came away with the sense that he has really worked hard to convince himself that he had no choice in going public, but that at some level he realizes that he fucked up.
Here was another exchange, this time with Senator Al Franken, discussing the importance of looking into Trump's financial records and tax returns to help understand why Putin chose to help him win the election.
Courtesy of Raw Story:
The Minnesota Democrat laid out business relationships between Trump, his White House staff, cabinet officials, campaign advisers and Russia, and he asked whether FBI investigators had access to the president’s tax returns.
Comey declined to say whether investigators had viewed Trump’s taxes, but he agreed that had Russia in the past exploited financial arrangements to influence politics abroad.
“I hope people don’t over-interpret my answers, but I don’t want to start talking about anything — what we’re looking at and how,” Comey said.
He agreed that intelligence agencies believed Russia had a clear preference for Trump, which he said was based in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dislike for Hillary Clinton.
“The intelligence community assessed that Putin believed he would be more able to make deals, reach agreements with someone with a business background rather than someone who had grown up in more of a government environment,” Comey said.
He declined to say whether investigators believed Trump was vulnerable to manipulation through his business contacts with Russians, including the oligarch who purchased a Palm Beach, Florida, mansion from him a decade ago.
I thought that Franken's questions were some of the best of the hearing, and I thought that he probably touched on many of the things that the FBI are likely looking into concerning possible collusion between the Trump team and the Russians.
Other things we learned, or had reinforced, during the testimony:
- That the "thousands of emails" which were on Anthony Weiner's laptop were there because Huma Abedin sent them there to be printed off so that Hillary could review the hard copies later.
- That initially Comey thought these might be some of mysterious "missing" 30,000 e-mails that the Republicans had made a cause celeb during their numerous investigations into Clinton.
- The investigation into the ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is still ongoing.
- Comey said that journalists who receive classified information are not criminals, but that the folks who send them that information might be.
- Comey does not consider what Wikileaks does as legitimate journalism, and claimed they traffic in "intelligence porn."
- That the Russians are STILL interfering in American politics, and in European politics as well.
- And Comey says that they are "the greatest threat of any nation on earth."
That sounds like very good news for us, and not so good news for a certain tangerine colored tyrannical toddler.