IG Report on Comey Out, Comey Escapes Charges but Without Honor

IG Report on Comey Out, Comey Escapes Charges but Without Honor

NOTICE: Anything written in this color is our thoughts and personal takes of what the Memos may imply based off of events that have subsequently happened or could show in the future.

Last week the Inspector General report, concerning James Comey’s handling of FBI documents, was released to the public. This report was damning in the sense of Comey’s reputation as a man of the law, but he will be getting a pass on criminal charges.

As 777 Media Source reported back in August, The Department of Justice chose to not file any charges against Comey pertaining to his mishandling of classified information. The reasoning behind this was because the DOJ didn’t want to, make its first case against the Russia Investigators with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive.

Though there were no criminal charges against Comey, the report offered condemnations of the former FBI director’s actions.

“As described in this report, we conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”

The report went on to answer the question as to whether Comey violated DOJ or FBI policy with his mishandling of the 7 Memos he wrote pertaining to interactions with President Trump.

“…we address whether Comey’s actions violated Department and FBI policies, or the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement. We determined that several of his actions did. We conclude that the Memos were official FBI record, rather than Comey’s personal documents. Accordingly, after his removal as FBI Director, Comey violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement by failing to either surrender his copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to the FBI or seek authorization to retain them; by releasing official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization; and by failing to immediately alert the FBI about his disclosures to his personal attorneys once he became aware in June 2017 that Memo 2 contained six words (four of which were names of foreign countries mentioned by the President) that the FBI had determined were classified at the “CONFIDENTIAL” level.”

STORY BEHIND THE MEMOS:

MEMO #1: Written January 7, 2017

On January 6, 2017, President Trump was briefed on an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections. Amongst the group to brief Trump was, FBI, NSA, CIA, and the ODNI. According to Comey, there were two parts to the briefing.

The first half of the briefing involved all the Intelligence Community Directors, and they discussed the ICA’s conclusions on Russia. The other half concerned Comey revealing to Trump, one-on-one, the contents of the Steele Dossier, which at the time was described as “salacious and unverified” by Comey.

Prior to the briefing of Trump, Comey met with FBI leadership, including his, then-Chief of Staff James Rybicki, then-FBI-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, and supervisors of the FBI’s Russian interference investigation into the 2016 presidential election. After discussions with colleagues the consensus was for Comey to share the contents of the dossier with Trump one-on-one to avoid potential embarrassment to Trump; as well as to memorialize his interactions with Trump in case he said anything incriminating.

“Trump might make statements about, or to provide information of value to, the pending Russian interference investigation. That FBI counterintelligence investigation, known as “Crossfire Hurricane,” concerned whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election were coordinating with, or had been unwittingly co-opted by, the Russian government.”

After the briefing with Trump, Comey immediately began writing Memo 1 in his FBI vehicle. Comey then sent a “quick download” to his colleagues of his conversation with Trump, but he would probably send them his “detailed notes” of the conversation. The FBI email system shows he sent the final copy on January 7, 2017.

Pgs. 17,18,19

777’s TAKE: The story behind Memo 1 shows that the FBI wasn’t worried about sharing proper intelligence information with President Trump. Instead the FBI was trying to covertly collect counterintelligence against Trump to use in their Russian interference investigation. This story also raises questions once again as to when the FBI knew the Steele Dossier was fiction.

MEMO #2: Written January 28, 2017

On January 27, 2017 President Trump invited Comey over to the White House for dinner. Comey believed the dinner was going to include other officials, but it was a one-on-one meeting with Trump. The OIG asked Comey whether the dinner invitation was due to him being FBI Director or due to a personal relationship with Trump. Comey responded saying he “did not have a personal relationship” with Trump.

During the dinner Trump discussed the Steele Dossier with Comey and considered what could be done to prove the information was false to the public. Comey responded by saying it was up to Trump on how to proceed, but that he “wouldn’t want to create a narrative that [the FBI was] investigating him, because [the FBI was] not, and [Comey] worried such a thing would be misconstrued.”

After various discussions, Trump then told Comey he would understand if Comey wanted to leave the FBI Director job. Comey responded that he was “reliable”. He also told Trump, “I don’t do sneaky things. I don’t leak. I don’t do weasel moves.”

The conversation then leaned towards Trump asking for Comey’s “loyalty.” Comey responded by saying he would give Trump “honesty. Trump then “paused and said that’s what he wants, honest loyalty.” Comey went on to write in Memo 2 that, he and Trump possibly “understood that phrase differently,” but Comey “decided it would not be productive to push the subject further.”

Comey told the OIG, this unexpected dinner was why he decided to start memorializing his interactions with Trump. When asked why Comey used an unsecured computer to write the memo regarding this meeting, he told the OIG he viewed Memo 2 as

“a personal aide-memoire. And, and that’s why I did it like this. On my personal device, non-FBI systems; and that I kept one of the originals in my safe, my personal safe, not the Bureau’s. I had a Bureau safe. But I didn’t put it in the Bureau safe, because I didn’t think of it that way.”

Comey told the OIG he was “thinking first about me, close second the FBI” when he wrote Memo 2. Comey said he felt as if Trump was “fundamentally dishonest” and was “worried very much that [Trump] would say I had said things at this dinner that were not true; that I had promised him something; that I had given him assurances about something.”

Pgs. 20,21,22

777’s TAKE: The story behind Memo 2 shows Comey was concerned about protecting himself more than protecting the FBI. What this story sheds light on is the fact that Comey disregarded the law for his own personal beliefs. He felt that Trump was dishonest and wanted to be sure he could prove it. Due to the fact we know the writing of Memo 1 was preplanned, its hard to believe Comey when he claims this dinner with Trump was the cause of him memorializing his one-on-one interactions with Trump.

MEMO #3: Written February 8, 2017

On February 8, 2017, Comey had interactions with three of Trump’s personnel while at the White House, including President Trump. Reince Priebus invited Comey over to get “acquainted.” Many topics were discussed in the meeting including immigration, the Clinton email investigation, as well as what the FBI was doing about governmental leaks. Another topic discussed had to do with FISA warrants. Comey was asked if there was a FISA warrant on then-National Security Director Michael Flynn. Comey stated that he answered the question, but that he told Priebus, “this illustrated the kind of question that had to be asked and answered through established channels.”

After the meeting had concluded, Priebus brought Comey by the Oval Office to see President Trump. With Priebus in the room, Trump and Comey discussed the Clinton email investigation, Andrew McCabe, governmental leaks, and the Steele Dossier. Comey wrote in his memos that Trump was bothered by the accusations in the dossier; and he felt “‘the hookers thing’ was nonsense.”

Comey told the OIG at the time he wrote Memo 3, he considered it to be classified because it included discussions about FISA orders. Since he felt it was classified information he did not store it at home, but at his desk at FBI Headquarters.

Pgs. 22,23

777’s TAKE: The story of Memo 3 implies that the White House was interested in getting to the bottom of who was leaking classified information at the time. The Memo also shows that the Trump team was not thrilled about the conclusion to the Clinton investigation; and that Trump was seemingly trying to convey innocence to Comey about the Steele Dossier. Memo 3 also shows the White House’s growing interest into what exactly was going on with Michael Flynn and wanted to know how the intelligence agencies were handling it.

MEMO #4: Written February 14, 2017

On February 14, 2017, Comey met with President Trump in the Oval Office, after a homeland threat briefing with multiple officials, which primarily revolved around immigration. The day prior Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Director.

After the briefing was finished, Trump wanted to speak with Comey alone. According to Comey’s memo Trump, “wanted to talk about Mike Flynn.” Trump told Comey that Flynn “hadn’t done anything wrong” but he had to let Flynn go for misleading Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump then turned the conversation to the subject of intelligence and other sensitive information being leaked. Trump told Comey the leaks regarding Flynn’s communication with a Russian Ambassador was “terrible.” Comey responded to Trump saying, “if people run around telling the press what we do, [the FBI’s intelligence-gathering] ability will be compromised.”

The Memo also stated that Trump reiterated once again that Flynn was a “good guy” and he hoped Comey could “let this go.” Comey responded “I agree he is a good guy,” but didn’t directly respond to letting the matter go. The OIG report noted that in Comey’s June 8, 2017 written statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey stated he “understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

Comey purposely placed no classification on this memo because he “knew that there might come a day when [he] needed [Memo 4] to protect [himself] and/or the FBI. And it would be easier to accomplish that goal if it was unclassified… and so if [he] wrote it and included… [information] that would’ve triggered classification [he] couldn’t keep it at home. And [he] was keen to make sure that [he] could keep this recollection recorded at home.”

Pgs. 23,24,25

777’s TAKE: Memo 4 shows that Trump still held Michael Flynn in high regard and that he felt that he shouldn’t be punished for making false statements to investigators. Trump was more concerned about the leaks regarding Flynn and how that transpired. The memo also raises the question as to why Comey was concerned about protecting himself and the FBI after this interaction with Trump.

MEMO #5: Written March 1, 2017

On March 1, 2017, Comey received a phone call from President Trump before heading to an event in Richmond, Virginia. There was no pertinent information that was discussed or shared within this interaction.

Pgs. 25,26

MEMO #6: Written March 30, 2017

On March 30, 2017, Comey received a telephone call from President Trump regarding the Russia investigation. Trump told Comey that he was “trying to run the country and the cloud of the Russia business was making that difficult.” Trump asked Comey what he could do to “lift the cloud” of suspicion. Comey responded to Trump, that the FBI was working as fast as possible on the investigation. Comey went on to tell Trump that“we weren’t investigating him and that [Comey] had told the congressional leadership the same thing.” Trump responded back telling Comey to “find a way to get that out.”

Comey told the OIG, he felt that Memo 6 was personal and didn’t place a classification on it. He took one of the originals he printed out home and kept it in his safe. He did this to “protect myself, [and] protect the FBI.”

Pgs. 26,27

777’s TAKE: Memo 6 shows to us that Comey was still more worried about protecting his “good” name more so than proper investigation. Comey continued to lie to Trump stating that Trump was not part of an investigation; when in fact Trump’s campaign staff was being spied on, as well as, having White House aids spying on him and giving that information over to investigators.

MEMO #7: Written April 11, 2017

On April 11, 2017, Comey wrote Memo 7 after a phone call with President Trump. Trump had asked Comey if he had done anything regarding the pervious conversation they had, which regarded getting Russia cloud of suspicion away from Trump. Comey responded that the White House had to go through the proper channels and that he had to request this from then-Acting Attorney General Dana Boente. Trump told Comey, that was what he wanted to do. Trump then asked Comey once again about his loyalty to him, and Comey didn’t reply to the statement.

The conversation then turned towards Egypt and an incident in Jordan.

Pg. 27

777’s TAKE: Memo 7 shows that Trump was feeling the pressure of the Russia investigation and that it was affecting the outcome of his Presidency. What’s more telling is, it seems Trump was aware something fishy was going on in regards to Comey and the FBI, thus the numerous times asking him whether or not he was “loyal”. The fact that Comey didn’t respond probably raised some red flags to Trump.

We will continue to update this story and more once the Horowitz, Huber, and Durham Reports are available for public consumption.

Author: 777 Media Source