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Comey's FBI has been refusing to provide information in the House leaks investigation
Maybe because they're the leakers?
You don't think about this much because it doesn't get the media attention that the "Russia matter" does, but the most serious national security problem facing the federal government right now is the fact that unauthorized leaks - often of classified material - is out of control. The press doesn't focus on this because they're the ones benefiting from the leaks.
But why do you suppose James Comey's FBI might refuse to help in finding the leakers? Because that's exactly what's been happening since the House Intelligence Committe began conducting an investigation of the leaks. While the National Security Agency has been providing the committee with information to help find the leakers, the FBI under Comey's leadership has refused to do so.
You don't suppose there's a reason for that, do you?
Which leads us to Mr. Comey’s most recent and obvious conflict of all—likely a primary reason he was fired: the leaks investigation (or rather non-investigation). So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press. Mr. Trump and the GOP rightly see this as a major risk to national security. While the National Security Agency has been cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee and allowing lawmakers to review documents that might show the source of the leaks, Mr. Comey’s FBI has resolutely refused to do the same.
Why? The press reports that the FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor Carter Page. It’s still unclear exactly under what circumstances the government was listening in on former Trump adviser Mike Flynn and the Russian ambassador, but the FBI was likely involved there, too. Meaning Mr. Comey’s agency is a prime possible source of the leaks.
In last week’s Senate hearing, Chairman Chuck Grassley pointed out the obvious: The entire top leadership of the FBI is suspect. “So how,” Mr. Grassley asked, “can the Justice Department guarantee the integrity of the investigations without designating an agency, other than the FBI, to gather the facts and eliminate senior FBI officials as suspects?” Mr. Comey didn’t provide much of an answer.
All this—the Russia probe, the unmasking, the leaks, the fraught question of whether the government was inappropriately monitoring campaigns, the allegations of interference in a presidential campaign—is wrapped together, with Mr. Comey at the center. The White House and House Republicans couldn’t have faith that the FBI would be an honest broker of the truth. Mr. Comey should have realized this, recused himself from ongoing probes, and set up a process to restore trust. He didn’t. So the White House did it for him.
A reader thought he was very clever the other day in pointing out that I said about Comey in April 2016, "I like this guy." And I did. Comey was very good at making himself look like the earnest boy scout who only wanted to do the right thing, and this especially appeared to be the case early last year as Comey swatted away suggestions from the Hillary campaign that the FBI wasn't doing a real investigation.
But as the year wore on, things began to look differently. He consistently played ball as Loretta Lynch's Justice Department sought to compromise the investigation, and in the end went along with the absurd order from on high that Hillary be let off the hook. He revealed evidence he should not have, and ururped authority that didn't belong to him.
Now, as Kim Strassel notes above, he's got his own agency stonewalling an important House investigation into the inappropriate monitoring of the Trump campaign by the Obama Administration during last year's election season. I don't know why Rod Rosenstein wouldn't mention this as one of the reasons for his ouster, because it's every bit as legitimate as the reasons he did mention concerning Comey's handling of the Hillary campaign.
But obviously, if these leaks were coming from the FBI and Comey was trying to stop that from being discovered, that is a legitimate example of a coverup. In fact, it has much more in common with Watergate that anything Trump is doing that pertains to Russia. The leak investigation is not the ball the Beltway has its eye on right now, because they so desperately want something to come of this Russia thing. But it's the far more important one, and it just might help explain why Comey had to be replaced.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!