Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has had his share of problems getting cooperation out of former FBI Director and slow-walking obstructionist James Comey in the past. Grassley had requested that Comey reveal to others what he told both him and Senator Feinstein, that President Trump was not the target of the supposed Russia investigation. Comey didn’t respond and he didn’t comply, preferring to allow the speculation to taint and unjustifiably shackle the President, impeding his ability to do his job for the American people. Grassley urged an end to the reckless behavior by the FBI in remarks to the Judiciary Committee on Thursday. He said:
Mr. Comey did brief Ranking Member Feinstein and me on who the targets of their investigations are. It would not be appropriate for me to reveal those details before the professionals conducting the investigations are ready, so, I will not answer any questions about who are targets of the ongoing Russia investigations. But I will say this, shortly after Director Comey briefed us, I tweeted that he should be transparent. I said he should tell the public what he told Senator Feinstein and me about whether the FBI is or is not investigating the President.
On Tuesday, the President’s letter said that [former] Director Comey told him he was not under investigation. Senator Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the President’s statement. Now Mr. Comey is no longer the FBI director, but the FBI should still follow my advice. It should confirm to the public whether it is or is not investigating the President. Because it has failed to make this clear, speculation has run rampant.
The intelligence community said that one of the Russians’ goals is to undermine the American public faith in our democratic institutions. Wild speculation that the FBI is targeting the President in a criminal or intelligence inquiry is not just irresponsible and unfounded. It provides aid and comfort to the Russians and their goal of undermining faith in our democracy.
So, what I suggest is that before this committee does anything more on this matter, that all the members get briefed by the FBI on what is actually going on. Hopefully, that will help temper some of the unsubstantiated statements that have been made.”
Senator Feinstein agreed, telling Chairman Grassley, “I very much appreciate what you’ve said, and it’s very accurate and we were briefed and the nature of the briefing was a counterintelligence and criminal investigation that the FBI was carrying out. And more than that I will not say either.”
It clearly confirmed in an indirect manner that they believe to be required by the sensitive and confidential nature of the investigation that the President is not part of the investigation, just as he has stated and as he has likewise stated Comey told him. Both Senators Grassley and Feinstein were provided with the identity of the person or persons under investigation by Comey while he was FBI Director and the President is not one of them, as they stated.
It’s past time for the coy gamesmanship of Comey to stop, for the acting director to brief the entire Judiciary Committee on the matter, at a minimum to state unequivocally that the President is not under investigation. It is critical that the toxic and disruptive speculation, much of it intentional on the part of President Trump’s opponents, come to an immediate end. Had Comey not been engaged in the stupid game playing, he might well still have his job. This is serious business with serious consequences for a failure to conduct the people’s business responsibly. That proper conduct includes not impugning and encumbering the President through illicit innuendo and guilt by association.
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