By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Fired FBI Director James Comey was recently found by the Justice Department Inspector General to have violated several policies and rules in releasing, without proper authorization, a series of memos he wrote following meetings with President Donald Trump in early 2017.
And while some of the memos contained classified information — which would have been enough to charge and likely convict ordinary Americans of Espionage Act violations — the Justice Department declined to pursue an indictment.
But that doesn’t mean that Comey’s out of hot water just yet. In fact, former FBI Assistant Director Kevin Brock, writing in The Hill, thinks that the next report from IG Michael Horowitz will contain some legitimate legal entanglements for Comey because he signed off on warrant applications filed before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court using ‘evidence’ — the “Russia dossier” — he himself testified was “salacious and unverified.”
False, in other words. And that’s a crime.
Comey may try to deflect with celebratory comments that he wasn’t charged with mishandling classified information, but he remains in a precarious position — and the trend lines aren’t good.
Next up will be the IG’s findings regarding Comey’s truthfulness before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and whether he attested to false or misleading statements in order to electronically monitor a presidential campaign.
That determination may not be as cut-and-dried as many think it is, but it hopefully, at a minimum, will explain why Comey believed he could sign off multiple times on a FISA application based largely on information that he, himself, described as “salacious and unverified.” His exposure here is potentially much more devastating than breaking FBI record retention and handling rules. (Related: Comey admitted his FBI did NOT corroborate bogus Trump dossier before getting FISA warrant)
Close behind the IG’s second report will be findings by U.S. Attorney John Durham whether Comey and his rogue team of investigators violated FBI and departmental guidelines to initiate a counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign. They will determine if Comey had adequate justification for launching such an unprecedented investigation.
But beyond that, Mr. Durham and his team likely will follow up on emerging indicators that Comey may have colluded with other intelligence community leaders to actually “manufacture” the justification needed for an investigation by targeting covert informants against campaign representatives in violation of established policies and procedures.
It’s important to note that Horowitz’s office has already found that all four of the FISA warrants filed to spy on the president’s campaign were illegal, according to former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova, who claims to still have contacts within the Justice Department.
“I can report categorically that the inspector general has found that all four FISA warrants were illegal. They were based on false information supplied to the FISA Court. And Michael Horowitz has concluded that all four FISA warrants were illegal,” he told WMAL late last month.
The Washington Examiner noted further:
DiGenova previously said memos, obtained by conservative group Citizens United through open-records litigation, suggest the FBI might have misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in the first warrant application about an unverified dossier.
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