90 Miles From Tyranny : Showdown builds between Comey, House: Just what did FBI director say about Michael Flynn?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Showdown builds between Comey, House: Just what did FBI director say about Michael Flynn?

There's an intense conflict brewing between some Capitol Hill Republicans and fired FBI Director James Comey. The Republicans say Comey has been lying about what he told them in a March 2017 meeting. Comey says he never said what the Republicans say he said.

The Republicans say there's a transcript — not just of Comey's testimony but of fired top FBI deputy Andrew McCabe, too — that will prove them right. But so far, the intelligence community has prevented that proof from seeing the light of day. A resolution to the matter might come as soon as the next few days.

The conflict concerns Michael Flynn, the fired national security adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Trump-Russia investigation. The FBI interviewed Flynn in the White House on Jan. 24, 2017. In the weeks that followed, there was significant public debate over Flynn and the Trump-Russia matter, and in March, Comey went to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on what was going on.

In a meeting with some members of the House, according to sources familiar with the matter, Comey told lawmakers that the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional. Lawmakers left the briefing with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with lying to the FBI.

At the end of November 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to just that.

In February of this year, I reported that Comey had told Congress that the FBI agents involved did not think that Flynn had lied. In recent weeks, as Comey has gone on a publicity tour to promote his book, A Higher Loyalty , he has been asked on at least three occasions about the report, and each time has answered that he simply did not say what Republican sources say he said.

The most recent example came Sunday morning on NBC. "In the Washington Examiner, they report that, according to sources familiar with meetings that you had, that you told lawmakers when you were still director of the FBI that FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional," "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd said to Comey. "If that's the case, what did he plead guilty to?"

"Yes, an example of how you can't believe everything you read in the media," Comey said.

"This is not true?" Todd asked.

"Not true," said Comey. "And I don't know what people heard me say, if they're reporting it accurately, what they heard me say, they misunderstood. But that's not accurate."

A few days earlier, in an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, Comey said essentially the same thing.

"Did you tell lawmakers that FBI agents didn't believe former national security adviser Michael Flynn was lying intentionally to investigators?" asked Baier.

"No," said Comey.

"You did not—" said Baier.

"And I saw that in the media," Comey said. "I don't know what — maybe someone misunderstood something I said. I didn't believe that and didn't say that."

Two weeks ago, in Comey's first interview , ABC's George Stephanopoulos said, "There's been some reporting that at one point you told the Congress that the agents who interviewed Mike Flynn didn't believe that he had lied."

"Yeah, I saw that," said Comey. "And that — I don't know where that's coming from. That — unless I'm — I said something that people misunderstood, I don't remember even intending to say that. So my recollection is...Read More HERE

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