The only thing that Comey was able to establish before the House Intelligence Committee is that he is investigating Trump and CANNOT be fired for the FBI’s incompetence. Well, that wasn’t very helpful. FBI director James Comey took his latest star turn before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday and didn’t disclose much of anything new about Russian meddling in the presidential election or wiretaps of Trump Tower.
Mr. Comey did confirm what four bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees said last week—that the FBI has “no information” to support President Trump’s assertion that Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower. He also acknowledged that the FBI is investigating Russia’s electoral meddling and any connection to the Trump campaign, which everyone also knew.
In other words, Mr. Comey was his usual political self, handing out the headline that Democrats wanted about Mr. Trump’s false accusation but offering little to educate the public about what really happened.
Mr. Comey also refused to answer whether the FBI has evidence of collusion between Trump officials and Russia. He kept mum even though former Obama director of national intelligence James Clapper, former acting Obama CIA director Michael Morell, and House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes have said publicly that they have seen no such evidence.
While there’s no evidence for Mr. Trump’s typically over-the-top claim of Trump Tower wiretapping, we do know that some parts of the U.S. government listened to and then leaked word about conversations that former National Security AdviserMichael Flynn had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Yet Mr. Comey pre-empted questions about the instigators or methods of this surveillance, including whether there was a FISA court order on Mr. Flynn or other campaign officials. Mr. Comey said he couldn’t comment on a pending investigation, which would be more credible if he hadn’t been so voluble during the election campaign.
The point of the House-Senate Intelligence probes should be to learn and then disclose to Americans what happened on both questions: What the Russians did with whom, and whether and why the Obama Administration eavesdropped on the Trump campaign?
If Mr. Comey won’t help, our hope is that the intelligence committees will go further than they usually do in declassifying relevant details. The public needs to know if there was political canoodling with a foreign government and whether the Obama Administration used cloak-and-dagger methods for partisan purposes.
Source: WSJ 3/20