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Judicial Watch • Daily Caller v DOJ cross motion MSJ 01830

Daily Caller v DOJ cross motion MSJ 01830

Daily Caller v DOJ cross motion MSJ 01830

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Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
__________________________________________
CABLE NEWS NETWORK, INC.,
Plaintiff,
FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
GANNETT SATELLITE INFORMATION
NETWORK, LLC, d/b/a USA TODAY, al.
Plaintiffs,
DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
FREEDOM WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT JUSTICE
and FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION,
Defendants.
__________________________________________)
Civil Action No. 17-1167-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1175-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1189-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1212-JEB
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
__________________________________________
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS
FOUNDATION,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
Civil Action No. 17-1830-JEB
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION MEMORANDUM POINTS
AND AUTHORITIES OPPOSITION DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR
PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND SUPPORT ITS
CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiff The Daily Caller News Foundation, counsel and pursuant Rule 56(c) the
Federal Rules Civil Procedure, hereby cross-moves for summary judgment against Defendants
Federal Bureau Investigation and U.S. Department Justice. grounds therefor, The Daily
Caller News Foundation respectfully refers the Court the accompanying Memorandum
Points and Authorities Opposition Defendants Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Support The Daily Caller News Foundation Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, The
Daily Caller News Foundation Response Defendants Statement Material Facts
Which There Genuine Dispute and The Daily Caller News Foundation Statement
Undisputed Material Facts Support Plaintiff Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.
Dated: November 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha (D.C. Bar No. 995749)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for The Daily Caller News Foundation
-2-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
__________________________________________
CABLE NEWS NETWORK, INC.,
Plaintiff,
FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
GANNETT SATELLITE INFORMATION
NETWORK, LLC, d/b/a USA TODAY, al.
Plaintiffs,
DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
FREEDOM WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT JUSTICE
and FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION,
Defendants.
__________________________________________)
Civil Action No. 17-1167-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1175-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1189-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1212-JEB
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
__________________________________________
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS
FOUNDATION,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
Civil Action No. 17-1830-JEB
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION MEMORANDUM POINTS
AND AUTHORITIES OPPOSITION DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR
PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND SUPPORT ITS
CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiff The Daily Caller News Foundation, counsel and pursuant Rule 56(c) the
Federal Rules Civil Procedure, respectfully submits this memorandum points and
authorities opposition the motion for partial summary judgment Defendants Federal
Bureau Investigation and U.S. Department Justice and support The Daily Caller News
Foundation cross-motion for summary judgment.
Introduction.
While was FBI Director, James Comey had nine one-on-one conversations with
President Donald Trump. After was fired, the Senate Select Committee Intelligence asked
Director Comey testify about those interactions. Director Comey subsequently testified
contemporaneously authored least five and many nine records about these
conversations that had record what happened case needed defend himself
the FBI. These records are colloquially known the Comey Memos.
Director Comey did not create the Comey Memos for law enforcement purposes. His
own testimony reveals created them for administrative and institutional purposes. His
-2-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
testimony also reveals the subject each the Comey Memos and, some circumstances,
specific passages from them. mountain information about these records exists the public
domain because Director Comey testimony. Defendants withholding the Comey Memos their entirety improper.
II.
Factual Background.
The Comey Memos. June 2017, former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath before the
Senate Select Committee Intelligence. See James Comey Statement for the Record,
Senate Select Committee Intelligence (June 2017), attached Exhibit DCNF
Memorandum Points and Authorities Opposition Defendants Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment and Support its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; see also
Transcript Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing (June 2017), attached Exhibit
DCNF Memorandum. Director Comey was asked describe [his] interactions with
President-Elect and President Trump. Exhibit written testimony submitted the
Committee June 2017, Director Comey stated recall[s] nine one-on-one conversations
with President Trump four months three person and six the phone. Id. Director
Comey also testified created records after each those conversations. Id. created records
after conversations, and think did after each our nine conversations. didn did for
nearly all them, especially the ones that were substantive. Director Comey described five those conversations his written testimony and detailed the other four during the question
and answer portion. Id. 1-7; Exhibit 131-132.
The first conversation took place January 2017 conference room Trump
Tower New York. Exhibit 1-2. During this meeting, Director Comey briefed President-
-3-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Elect Trump some personally sensitive aspects the information assembled during the
Intelligence Community assessment concerning Russian efforts interfere the election. Id.
The second conversation took place over the telephone shortly before January 20, 2017. Exhibit 131. Director Comey testified this conversation included follow-up the January
meeting well brief discussion about whether Director Comey would remain FBI
Director. Id.
The third conversation occurred January 27, 2017, when President Trump called and
invited Director Comey dinner that evening. Id. 132; Exhibit 2-3. Director Comey
testified President Trump invited [him] dinner that night, saying was going invite
[Director Comey whole family, but decided have just [him] this time, with the whole family
coming the next time. Id. The fourth conversation occurred dinner January 27, 2017. Id. 2-4. During that conversation, President Trump and Director Comey discussed whether
Director Comey would stay FBI Director and revisited their conversation from January
Id.
The fifth conversation occurred the Oval Office February 14, 2017. Id. 4-6. That
conversation concerned the FBI investigation into Mike Flynn. Id. The sixth conversation,
occurred March 2017. Exhibit 131. Director Comey testified President Trump called
him just check in. Id.
The seventh conversation occurred March 30, 2017. Exhibit 6-7. that date,
President Trump and Director Comey discussed the cloud the Russia investigation that was
impairing [the President ability act behalf the country. Id. The eighth conversation
also occurred telephone. Id. April 11, 2017, President Trump called Director Comey again discuss the cloud. Id. The ninth and final conversation between President Trump and
-4-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Director Comey also occurred the telephone. Exhibit 132. Director Comey does not
recall when this conversation took place but testified they had secure call about
operational matter that was not related the Russia investigation. Id. addition testifying about the content the Comey Memos, Director Comey testified why created the records. Id. 33. explained, knew that there might come day
when would need record what happened, not just defend myself, but defend the FBI
and and our integrity institution and the independence our investigation. Id. also
described the records his recollection recorded. Id. 100. point did Director Comey
testify created the records for law enforcement purposes. addition, Director Comey testified some the records contained classified
information. Id. 41-42. does not describe how many the records contain classified
information, whether any records were entirely classified, properly followed the
procedures necessary classify the records their entirety part. However, least some the records were specifically written not contain classified information. Exhibit
immediately prepared unclassified memo the conversation.
DCNF FOIA Request.
Prior Director Comey testimony, the New York Times reported Director Comey
created memoranda about every phone call and meeting had with President Trump. Based this report, DCNF submitted Freedom Information Act request the FBI seeking copies all unclassified memoranda authored former FBI Director James Comey that
contemporaneously memorialized his discussions with President Trump and his aides. The FBI
continues withhold all the records their entirety pursuant Exemption
-5-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
III.
Summary Judgment Standard. FOIA litigation, all litigation, summary judgment appropriate only when the
pleadings and declarations demonstrate there genuine issue material fact and the moving
party entitled judgment matter law. Anderson Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986); Fed. Civ. 56(c). FOIA cases, agency decisions withhold disclose
information under FOIA are reviewed novo. Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Postal Service, 297 Supp. 252, 256 (D.D.C. 2004). reviewing motion for summary judgment under FOIA,
the court must view the facts the light most favorable the plaintiff. Weisberg U.S.
Department Justice, 745 F.2d 1476, 1485 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
IV.
Defendants Have Failed Demonstrate They Conducted Adequate Search.
DCNF seeks all unclassified memoranda authored Director Comey memorializing his
conversations with President Trump. Director Comey testified that had nine one-on-one
conversations with President Trump and that believes memorialized each those
conversations. Defendants however fail provide any evidence whatsoever about how many
records they have their possession, how many records they located, and how many records
they determined responsive. Based Director Comey testimony, there are least five
and many nine records responsive DCNF request. For DCNF and the Court
evaluate whether Defendants conducted adequate search, Defendants must identify the
number records they located and are withholding.
Instead identifying the number records located, Defendants submitted
declaration containing conclusory statements. Specifically, Mr. Hardy testified that employees the FBI Records Management Division identified what they believed the set
records constituting the Comey Memos[,] and that employees the FBI National Security
-6-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
and Cyber Branch confirmed the records identified RMD were, fact, the full set
responsive records. Declaration David Hardy (filed Oct. 13, 2017) 62. Yet the
declaration silent how both components reached their determination that the unidentified
number records are all the records sought DCNF. Because Defendants have failed even
identify the number records they located how they know the records are all the records
responsive DCNF request, Defendants motion for partial summary judgment with respect
the adequacy the search should denied, and DCNF cross-motion should granted.
Hardy Declaration Woefully Insufficient Justify Defendants Claims
Exemptions. this Court recently stated:
FOIA was drafted with the objective affording the public maximum access
most government records. See Vaughn Rosen, 484 F.2d 820, 823 (D.C. Cir.
1973). The government, result, bears the burden demonstrating that
least one exemption applies. See id. order assist court its novo
review the withholdings and allow the party seeking access documents
engage effective advocacy, the government must furnish detailed and specific
information demonstrating that material withheld logically within the domain the exemption claimed. Campbell U.S. Department Justice, 164 F.3d
20, (D.C. Cir. 1998) (quoting King U.S. Department Justice, 830 F.2d
210, 217 (D.C. Cir. 1987)). This allows for full public record possible,
concerning the nature the documents and the justification for nondisclosure.
Hayden National Security Agency, 608 F.2d 1381, 1384 (D.C. Cir. 1979).
Courts this Circuit have stressed that the government cannot justify its
withholdings the basis summary statements that merely reiterate legal
standards offer far-ranging category definitions for information. King, 830
F.2d 221; see, e.g., Campbell, 164 F.3d (emphasizing that agencys
explanations will not suffice they are conclusory, merely recit[e] statutory
standards, they are too vague sweeping (quoting Hayden, 608 F.2d
1387).
Citizens for Responsibility Ethics Washington U.S. Department Justice, 955 Supp. (D.D.C. 2013).
DCNF generally objects Defendants categorical denial its FOIA request for all
unclassified memoranda authored former FBI Director James Comey that contemporaneously
-7-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
memorialized his discussions with President Trump and his aides. Defendants refuse provide
even the most basic information about the Comey Memos, such the number records and the
dates each record was created. They also refuse provide detailed and specific information
about why they are withholding such information. They merely recite the statutory standard for
withholding. Hardy Decl. [I]dentifying the precise number/volume the particular
and the very narrow universe records sought plaintiffs could reasonably expected
reveal non-public information about the scope and focus the investigation. Defendants
failure provide any meaningful information about the Comey Memos prevents DCNF from
engaging effective advocacy.1 For this reason alone, Defendants motion for partial summary
judgment should denied.
VI.
Defendants Are Improperly Withholding the Comey Memos.
Defendants are withholding undisclosed number records their entirety pursuant
Exemption 7(A), which authorizes agency withhold records information compiled for
law enforcement purposes, but only the extent that the production such law enforcement
records information (A) could reasonably expected interfere with enforcement
proceedings. U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(A). Defendants are also withholding information contained the records pursuant Exemptions 7(C), and 7(E). Defendants have failed satisfy
their burdens with respect their Exemption and 7(A) claims.2 the extent they have
Defendants categorical denial even more egregious because, most, nine records
exist. Citizens for Responsibility Ethics Washington, 955 Supp. This Circuit
cases seem hint the idea sliding scale inversely correlating the number withheld
documents and the level detail required justify their withholding.
The Daily Caller does not challenge the withholdings pursuant Exemptions 7(C),
and 7(E) the extent they are limited select information described the Hardy
declaration.
-8-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
satisfied their burden, Defendants withholding least some the information improper
considering Director Comey testimony the Committee.
The Comey Memos were not compiled for law enforcement purposes. determine whether records are compiled for law enforcement purposes, this circuit
has long emphasized that the focus how and under what circumstances the requested files
were compiled and whether the files sought relate anything that can fairly characterized enforcement proceeding. Clemente Federal Bureau Investigation, 867 F.3d 111, 119
(D.C. Cir. 2017) (citing Jefferson U.S. Department Justice, Office Professional
Responsibility, 284 F.3d 172, 176-177 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (emphasis added)). Defendants however
fail provide any evidence how and under what circumstances the Comey Memos were
compiled.
The operative paragraph the Hardy Declaration paragraph 67. it, Hardy testified:
The Comey Memos include numerous references sensitive information directly
related the Russia investigation, including information which would reveal
aspects the investigations subjects, scope, and focus. That investigation
clearly within the law enforcement duties the FBI undertake
counterintelligence and national security investigations, and detect and
investigate possible violations Federal criminal laws. See U.S.C. 533.
Thus, information contained the memos was compiled part and relation investigation within the FBIs law enforcement duties; such, that
information and extension the memos which referenced were compiled
for law enforcement purposes.
Hardy Decl. 27. The first sentence simply states information contained within the Comey
Memos relate the Russia investigation. The second sentence says the Russia investigation
law enforcement proceeding. The third sentence conclusory nature.
There evidence whatsoever the records were compiled for law enforcement
purposes. The only evidence submitted Defendants shows nothing more than Hardy believes
the records were compiled for such purposes. has firsthand knowledge, nor claims to.
-9-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Without knowing Director Comey intent behind writing the memos, could not testify
their purpose.
Director Comey, the other hand, testified about why created the records.
explained, knew that there might come day when would need record what happened,
not just defend myself, but defend the FBI and and our integrity institution and the
independence our investigation. Exhibit 33. authored the records not for law
enforcement purposes but for administrative and institutional purposes. His testimony could not clearer.
The location the Comey Memos also revealing. Hardy testified the records were
found Director Comey archives. Hardy Decl. 62. The records were not stored the
Central Records System, which the system records that ordinarily and routinely store
investigative files. See Majid Federal Bureau Investigation, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44929,
**12-13 (D.D.C. March 28, 2017). They were stored with the administrative files. addition, DCNF requested the Comey Memos from the FBI, not the Justice
Department Special Counsel Mueller. The FBI, not Special Counsel Mueller, located the
records. Even Special Counsel Mueller gathered the Comey Memos part his
investigation and Defendants present evidence has done the specific records
requested DCNF still would not have been compiled for law enforcement purposes. Labow
U.S. Department Justice, 831 523, 529-30 (D.C. Cir. 2016).
Simply put, the Comey Memos were not compiled for law enforcement purposes.
The production the Comey Memos could not reasonably expected
interfere with law enforcement proceedings.
Even Defendants could demonstrate which they cannot the Comey Memos were
compiled for law enforcement purposes, they have failed demonstrate the production the
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
records could reasonably expected interfere with law enforcement proceedings. The author the Comey Memos has already made public, through testimony the Committee, substantial
information about the records. Director Comey identified the number records, when the
records were created, and why wrote them. has also revealed the subject the records,
the content the records, and has even quoted from passages from some the records. Very
little, any, information about the Comey Memos and the information contained within them
remains secret. Exactly how could the release the Comey Memos containing information
already the public domain reasonably expected interfere with law enforcement
proceedings?
Defendants not answer this question. Nor they attempt to. They merely suggest
they considered Director Comey testimony. Hardy Decl. 71. Hardy however does not
identify how reached his conclusion. Nor does identify what specific information
reviewed when reaching his decision. His conclusory, bare bones assertion insufficient
justify Defendants withholding all Comey Memos their entirety.3
Defendants have failed demonstrate the information contained within
the Comey Memos was classified accordance with the procedural
requirements the executive order. properly invoke Exemption the withheld information must classified
accordance with the procedural criteria the governing Executive Order well its
substantive terms. Lesar U.S. Department Justice, 636 F.2d 472, 483 (D.C. Cir. 1980). minimum, the Court should review the Comey Memos camera. Citizens for
Responsibility Ethics Washington, 955 Supp. 13. The Court should compare the
information contained within the records with the written and oral testimony Director Comey.
The Court could therefore make informed decision about what, any, information remains
secret and whether such information should withheld. The Court could then order the
production the Comey Memos containing the information already the public domain.
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Defendants rely Hardy declaration support their claim they have satisfied Executive
Order 13526 procedural criteria. The declaration however provides little more than selfserving, conclusory statement: determined that the information protected pursuant
Exemption (b)(1) the Comey Memos currently and properly classified the SECRET
CONFIDENTIAL level pursuant 13526, and satisfies both the procedural and substantive
requirements set forth the Executive Order. Hardy Decl. 81.
Hardy testimony does not identify when the Comey Memos were classified. This
significant because different procedures exist for records classified prior the receipt FOIA
request and for records classified after the fact. Once FOIA request has been received,
government agency can only classify material such classification meets the requirements
this order and accomplished document-by-document basis with the personal participation under the direction the agency head, the deputy agency head, the senior agency official
designated under section 5.4 this order. 13526, 1.7(d). Hardy declaration
completely silent when the classification took place and under what procedure.
DCNF asked for all unclassified records June 2017. June therefore the
operative date. Any records classified after that date would responsive DCNF FOIA
request. addition, the extent such records have been classified their entirety
information contained within them has been classified after the request was received, the
executive order requires such classification performed document-by-document basis.
Defendants fail provide the necessary evidence.4 the extent the classification took place before June the Daily Caller entitled
any record that not classified its entirety. information contained within one more
Comey Memos properly classified, such information may redacted.
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page least some information contained within the Comey Memos has been
officially acknowledged.
Director Comey indisputably testified about his nine one-on-one conversations with
President Trump and the records authored immediately following the interactions.
Defendants however assert the testimony consequence. See Hardy Decl. 108 Because former-Director Comey was longer FBI official the point that provided his
testimony before the SSCI, the FBI has concluded that his testimony did not and does not require
any modification its response. This simply cannot the case.5
Contrary Defendants assertions, Director Comey testimony cannot compared
WikiLeaks even former government official memoir. Director Comey was asked testify
shortly after was removed from office. testified about conversations had and records
authored while was FBI director. Besides President Trump, Director Comey the only
individual that could answer the Committee questions provide such information. may
have been private citizen the time testified, but was providing testimony based
actions took while FBI director and was under oath while doing so.
Importantly, Defendants did not prevent Director Comey from testifying. Nor they
dispute, disavow, and even disagree with any his testimony. Nor have Defendants sought
initiate investigation against Director Comey for violating any non-disclosure agreements
removing records from the FBI when was fired. Defendants have done little, anything,
expected agency facing unauthorized leak disclosure information. Their silence
and inaction speak volumes. Barre, 932 Supp. officially acknowledged, the information requested must: (1) specific the
information previously released; (2) match the information previously disclosed; and (3) have
already been made public through official and documented disclosure. Barre Obama, 932 Supp. (D.D.C. 2013). this case, the only prong issue the third one.
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Because the information contained the Comey Memos has been disclosed their
author, the Comey Memos must disclosed regardless Defendants otherwise valid claims
exemption. Fitzgibbon Central Intelligence Agency 911 F.2d 755, 765 (D.C. Cir. 1990).
VII.
Conclusion.
For the reasons stated above, DCNF respectfully requests Defendants Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment denied, DCNF Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment granted, and
Defendants promptly produce all records responsive DCNF FOIA request.
Dated: November 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha
D.C. Bar No. 995749
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for The Daily Caller
News Foundation
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
__________________________________________
CABLE NEWS NETWORK, INC.,
Plaintiff,
FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
GANNETT SATELLITE INFORMATION
NETWORK, LLC, d/b/a USA TODAY, al.
Plaintiffs,
DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
FREEDOM WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT JUSTICE
and FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION,
Defendants.
__________________________________________)
Civil Action No. 17-1167-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1175-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1189-JEB
Civil Action No. 17-1212-JEB
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
__________________________________________
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS
FOUNDATION,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
__________________________________________)
Civil Action No. 17-1830-JEB
THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION RESPONSE DEFENDANTS
STATEMENT MATERIAL FACTS WHICH THERE
GENUINE DISPUTE AND STATEMENT UNDISPUTED MATERIAL
FACTS SUPPORT ITS CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiff The Daily Caller News Foundation, counsel and pursuant Local Civil Rule
7.1(h), respectfully submits this response Defendants statement material facts which
there genuine dispute and statement undisputed material facts support its crossmotion for summary judgment:
The Daily Caller News Foundation Response Defendants Statement Material
Facts Which There Genuine Dispute.
Undisputed.
Undisputed.
Undisputed.
Undisputed.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
disputes the assertion. See generally Testimony James Comey before the Senate Select
Committee Intelligence.
Undisputed.
-2-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Undisputed.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
disputes the assertion. See generally Testimony James Comey before the Senate Select
Committee Intelligence.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
10.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
11.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
12.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
13.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
14.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
15.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
16.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
17.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
-3-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
18.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
19.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
20.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
21.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
22.
Undisputed.
23.
Undisputed.
24.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
paragraph.
See Judicial Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C.
Cir. 2006) (noting the asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester
and agency FOIA cases).
25.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See Judicial
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
26.
paragraph.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
See Judicial Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C.
-4-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Cir. 2006) (noting the asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester
and agency FOIA cases).
27.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See Judicial
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
28.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, the Daily
Caller lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See
Judicial Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006)
(noting the asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and
agency FOIA cases).
29.
paragraph.
DCNF lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this
See Judicial Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C.
Cir. 2006) (noting the asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester
and agency FOIA cases).
30.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See Judicial
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
-5-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
31.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See Judicial
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
32.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See Judicial
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
33.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
See Judicial
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
34.
DCNF objects this paragraph the extent contains conclusions law
instead assertions fact. the extent this paragraph contains assertion fact, DCNF
lacks knowledge state whether disputes does not dispute this paragraph.
-6-
See Judicial
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
Watch, Inc. Food and Drug Administration, 449 F.3d 141, 145 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (noting the
asymmetrical distribution knowledge between FOIA requester and agency FOIA
cases).
II.
The Daily Caller News Foundation Statement Undisputed Material Facts
Support its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. June 2017, former Director the Federal Bureau Investigation James
Comey testified under oath before the Senate Select Committee Intelligence. See James
Comey Statement for the Record, Senate Select Committee Intelligence (June 2017),
attached Exhibit DCNF Memorandum Points and Authorities Opposition
Defendants Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Support its Cross-Motion for
Summary Judgment; see also Transcript Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing (June
2017), attached Exhibit DCNF Memorandum.
Director Comey was asked describe [his] interactions with President-Elect and
President Trump. Exhibit written testimony submitted the Committee June 2017, Director
Comey stated recall[s] nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump four months
three person and six the phone. Id.
Director Comey testified created records after each those conversations. Id.
Director Comey described five those conversations his written testimony and
detailed the other four during the question and answer portion. Id. 1-7; Exhibit 131-132.
The first conversation took place January 2017 conference room
Trump Tower New York. Exhibit 1-2. During this meeting, Director Comey briefed
President-Elect Trump some personally sensitive aspects the information assembled
-7-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
during the Intelligence Community assessment concerning Russian efforts interfere the
election. Id.
The second conversation took place over the telephone shortly before January 20,
2017. Exhibit 131. Director Comey testified that this conversation included follow-up
the January meeting well brief discussion about whether Director Comey would remain FBI Director. Id.
The third conversation occurred January 27, 2017, when President Trump
called and invited Director Comey dinner that evening. Id. 132; Exhibit 2-3. Director
Comey testified President Trump invited [him] dinner that night, saying was going
invite [Director Comey whole family, but decided have just [him] this time, with the whole
family coming the next time. Id.
The fourth conversation occurred dinner January 27, 2017. Id. 2-4.
During that conversation, President Trump and Director Comey discussed whether Director
Comey would stay FBI Director and revisited their conversation from January Id.
10.
The fifth conversation occurred the Oval Office February 14, 2017. Id. That conversation concerned the FBI investigation into Mike Flynn. Id.
11.
The sixth conversation, occurred March 2017. Exhibit 131. Director
Comey testified President Trump called him just check in. Id.
12.
The seventh conversation occurred March 30, 2017. Exhibit 6-7. that
date, President Trump and Director Comey discussed the cloud the Russia investigation
that was impairing [the President ability act behalf the country. Id.
13.
The eighth conversation also occurred telephone.
Id. April 11,
2017, President Trump called Director Comey again discuss the cloud. Id.
-8-
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document Filed 11/03/17 Page
14.
The ninth and final conversation between President Trump and Director Comey
also occurred the telephone. Exhibit 132. Director Comey does not recall when this
conversation took place but testified they had secure call about operational matter that
was not related the Russia investigation. Id.
15.
Director Comey testified authored the Comey Memos for administrative and
institutional purposes. Id. 33.
16. point did Director Comey testify created the records for law enforcement
purposes. Id.
17.
Director Comey testified least some the records were specifically written
not contain classified information. Id. 41-42.
Dated: November 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha
D.C. Bar No. 995749
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for The Daily Caller
News Foundation
-9-
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Exhibit
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page
Statement for the Record
Senate Select Committee Intelligence
James Comey
June 2017
Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members the Committee.
Thank you for inviting appear before you today. was asked testify today describe for you interactions with President-Elect and President Trump
subjects that understand are interest you. have not included every detail
from conversations with the President, but, the best recollection,
have tried include information that may relevant the Committee.
January Briefing first met then-President-Elect Trump Friday, January conference
room Trump Tower New York. was there with other Intelligence
Community (IC) leaders brief him and his new national security team the
findings assessment concerning Russian efforts interfere the
election. the conclusion that briefing, remained alone with the PresidentElect brief him some personally sensitive aspects the information
assembled during the assessment.
The leadership thought important, for variety reasons, alert the
incoming President the existence this material, even though was salacious
and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) knew the media was about
publicly report the material and believed the should not keep knowledge
the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) the
extent there was some effort compromise incoming President, could blunt
any such effort with defensive briefing.
The Director National Intelligence asked that personally this portion the briefing because was staying position and because the material
implicated the FBI counter-intelligence responsibilities. also agreed would alone minimize potential embarrassment the President-Elect. Although agreed made sense for the briefing, the FBI leadership and were
concerned that the briefing might create situation where new President came
into office uncertain about whether the FBI was conducting counter-intelligence
investigation his personal conduct.
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page important understand that FBI counter-intelligence investigations are
different than the more-commonly known criminal investigative work. The
Bureau goal counter-intelligence investigation understand the technical
and human methods that hostile foreign powers are using influence the United
States steal our secrets. The FBI uses that understanding disrupt those
efforts. Sometimes disruption takes the form alerting person who targeted
for recruitment influence the foreign power. Sometimes involves
hardening computer system that being attacked. Sometimes involves
turning the recruited person into double-agent, publicly calling out the
behavior with sanctions expulsions embassy-based intelligence officers.
occasion, criminal prosecution used disrupt intelligence activities.
Because the nature the hostile foreign nation well known, counterintelligence investigations tend centered individuals the FBI suspects witting unwitting agents that foreign power. When the FBI develops
reason believe American has been targeted for recruitment foreign
power covertly acting agent the foreign power, the FBI will open
investigation that American and use legal authorities try learn more about
the nature any relationship with the foreign power can disrupted. that context, prior the January meeting, discussed with the FBI
leadership team whether should prepared assure President-Elect Trump that were not investigating him personally. That was true; did not have open
counter-intelligence case him. agreed should circumstances
warranted. During our one-on-one meeting Trump Tower, based PresidentElect Trump reaction the briefing and without him directly asking the
question, offered that assurance. felt compelled document first conversation with the President-Elect memo. ensure accuracy, began type laptop FBI vehicle
outside Trump Tower the moment walked out the meeting. Creating written
records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was
practice from that point forward. This had not been practice the past.
spoke alone with President Obama twice person (and never the phone)
once 2015 discuss law enforcement policy issues and second time, briefly,
for him say goodbye late 2016. neither those circumstances did
memorialize the discussions. can recall nine one-on-one conversations with
President Trump four months three person and six the phone.
January Dinner
The President and had dinner Friday, January 6:30 the
Green Room the White House. had called lunchtime that day and
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page
invited dinner that night, saying was going invite whole family, but
decided have just this time, with the whole family coming the next time.
was unclear from the conversation who else would the dinner, although
assumed there would others. turned out just the two us, seated small oval table the
center the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited us, only entering the
room serve food and drinks.
The President began asking whether wanted stay FBI
Director, which found strange because had already told twice earlier
conversations that hoped would stay, and had assured him that intended to. said that lots people wanted job and, given the abuse had taken during
the previous year, would understand wanted walk away. instincts told that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this
was our first discussion about position, meant the dinner was, least part, effort have ask for job and create some sort patronage relationship.
That concerned greatly, given the FBI traditionally independent status the
executive branch. replied that loved work and intended stay and serve out tenyear term Director. And then, because the set-up made uneasy, added that was not reliable the way politicians use that word, but could always count tell him the truth. added that was not anybody side politically
and could not counted the traditional political sense, stance said was
his best interest the President. few moments later, the President said, need loyalty, expect loyalty. didn move, speak, change facial expression any way during the
awkward silence that followed. simply looked each other silence. The
conversation then moved on, but returned the subject near the end our
dinner. one point, explained why was important that the FBI and the
Department Justice independent the White House. said was paradox:
Throughout history, some Presidents have decided that because problems come
from Justice, they should try hold the Department close. But blurring those
boundaries ultimately makes the problems worse undermining public trust
the institutions and their work.
Near the end our dinner, the President returned the subject job,
saying was very glad wanted stay, adding that had heard great things
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page
about from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. then said, need
loyalty. replied, You will always get honesty from me. paused and then
said, That what want, honest loyalty. paused, and then said, You will get
that from me. wrote the memo created immediately after the dinner,
possible understood the phrase honest loyalty differently, but decided
wouldn productive push further. The term honest loyalty had helped
end very awkward conversation and explanations had made clear what
should expect.
During the dinner, the President returned the salacious material had
briefed him about January and, had done previously, expressed his
disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. said was considering
ordering investigate the alleged incident prove didn happen. replied
that should give that careful thought because might create narrative that
were investigating him personally, which weren and because was very
difficult prove negative. said would think about and asked
think about it. was practice for conversations with President Trump, wrote
detailed memo about the dinner immediately afterwards and shared with the
senior leadership team the FBI.
February Oval Office Meeting February 14, went the Oval Office for scheduled counterterrorism briefing the President. sat behind the desk and group sat semi-circle about six chairs facing him the other side the desk. The
Vice President, Deputy Director the CIA, Director the National CounterTerrorism Center, Secretary Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and
were the semi-circle chairs. was directly facing the President, sitting
between the Deputy CIA Director and the Director NCTC. There were quite
few others the room, sitting behind couches and chairs.
The President signaled the end the briefing thanking the group and
telling them all that wanted speak alone. stayed chair. the
participants started leave the Oval Office, the Attorney General lingered
chair, but the President thanked him and said wanted speak only with me.
The last person leave was Jared Kushner, who also stood chair and
exchanged pleasantries with me. The President then excused him, saying
wanted speak with me.
When the door the grandfather clock closed, and were alone, the
President began saying, want talk about Mike Flynn. Flynn had resigned
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page
the previous day. The President began saying Flynn hadn done anything
wrong speaking with the Russians, but had let him because had
misled the Vice President. added that had other concerns about Flynn,
which did not then specify.
The President then made long series comments about the problem with
leaks classified information concern shared and still share. After had
spoken for few minutes about leaks, Reince Priebus leaned through the door the grandfather clock and could see group people waiting behind him.
The President waved him close the door, saying would done shortly.
The door closed.
The President then returned the topic Mike Flynn, saying,
good guy and has been through lot. repeated that Flynn hadn done
anything wrong his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. then said, hope you can see your way clear letting this go, letting Flynn
go. good guy. hope you can let this go. replied only that good
guy. (In fact, had positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when was
colleague Director the Defense Intelligence Agency the beginning
term FBI.) did not say would let this go.
The President returned briefly the problem leaks. then got and
left out the door the grandfather clock, making way through the large group people waiting there, including Mr. Priebus and the Vice President. immediately prepared unclassified memo the conversation about
Flynn and discussed the matter with FBI senior leadership. had understood the
President requesting that drop any investigation Flynn connection
with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador
December. did not understand the President talking about the broader
investigation into Russia possible links his campaign. could wrong, but
took him focusing what had just happened with Flynn departure and the
controversy around his account his phone calls. Regardless, was very
concerning, given the FBI role independent investigative agency.
The FBI leadership team agreed with that was important not infect
the investigative team with the President request, which did not intend
abide. also concluded that, given that was one-on-one conversation, there
was nothing available corroborate account. concluded made little
sense report Attorney General Sessions, who expected would likely
recuse himself from involvement Russia-related investigations. (He did two
weeks later.) The Deputy Attorney General role was then filled acting
capacity United States Attorney, who would also not long the role.
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page
After discussing the matter, decided keep very closely held, resolving
figure out what with down the road our investigation progressed. The
investigation moved ahead full speed, with none the investigative team
members the Department Justice lawyers supporting them aware the
President request.
Shortly afterwards, spoke with Attorney General Sessions person
pass along the President concerns about leaks. took the opportunity implore
the Attorney General prevent any future direct communication between the
President and me. told the that what had just happened him being asked
leave while the FBI Director, who reports the AG, remained behind was
inappropriate and should never happen. did not reply. For the reasons
discussed above, did not mention that the President broached the FBI potential
investigation General Flynn.
March Phone Call the morning March 30, the President called the FBI.
described the Russia investigation cloud that was impairing his ability act behalf the country. said had nothing with Russia, had not been
involved with hookers Russia, and had always assumed was being recorded
when Russia. asked what could lift the cloud. responded that were investigating the matter quickly could, and that there would
great benefit, didn find anything, our having done the work well.
agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him.
Then the President asked why there had been congressional hearing about
Russia the previous week which had, the Department Justice directed,
confirmed the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the
Trump campaign. explained the demands from the leadership both parties
Congress for more information, and that Senator Grassley had even held the
confirmation the Deputy Attorney General until briefed him detail the
investigation. explained that had briefed the leadership Congress
exactly which individuals were investigating and that had told those
Congressional leaders that were not personally investigating President Trump. reminded him had previously told him that. repeatedly told me, need get that fact out. did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department Justice had been reluctant make public statements that did not have
open case President Trump for number reasons, most importantly because would create duty correct, should that change.)
The President went say that there were some satellite associates his who did something wrong, would good find that out, but that
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-1 Filed 11/03/17 Page
hadn done anything wrong and hoped would find way get out that
weren investigating him. abrupt shift, turned the conversation FBI Deputy Director
Andrew McCabe, saying hadn brought the McCabe thing because had
said McCabe was honorable, although McAuliffe was close the Clintons and
had given him think meant Deputy Director McCabe wife) campaign
money. Although didn understand why the President was bringing this up,
repeated that Mr. McCabe was honorable person. finished stressing the cloud that was interfering with his ability
make deals for the country and said hoped could find way get out that
wasn being investigated. told him would see what could do, and that
would our investigative work well and quickly could.
Immediately after that conversation, called Acting Deputy Attorney
General Dana Boente (AG Sessions had then recused himself all Russiarelated matters), report the substance the call from the President, and said
would await his guidance. did not hear back from him before the President
called again two weeks later.
April Phone Call the morning April 11, the President called and asked what had
done about his request that get out that not personally under investigation. replied that had passed his request the Acting Deputy Attorney General, but
had not heard back. replied that the cloud was getting the way his
ability his job. said that perhaps would have his people reach out
the Acting Deputy Attorney General. said that was the way his request should
handled. said the White House Counsel should contact the leadership DOJ
make the request, which was the traditional channel. said would that and added, Because have been very loyal
you, very loyal; had that thing you know. did not reply ask him what
meant that thing. said only that the way handle was have the White
House Counsel call the Acting Deputy Attorney General. said that was what would and the call ended.
That was the last time spoke with President Trump.
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-2 Filed 11/03/17 Page
Exhibit
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-2 Filed 11/03/17 Page
Transcript Senate Intelligence
Committee Hearing
Date: June 2017
Planet Depos
Phone: 888-433-3767
Fax: 888-503-3767
Email: transcripts@planetdepos.com
www.planetdepos.com
WORLDWIDE COURT REPORTING INTERPRETATION TRIAL SERVICES
Case 1:17-cv-01167-JEB Document 28-2 Filed 11/03/17 Page
Transcript Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing
Conducted June 2017
AUDIO TRANSCRIPTION TESTIMONY JAMES COMEY
BEFORE THE
SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE INTELLIGENCE
JUNE 2017 Job No. 155272 Pages: exists certify for the other members the United States Senate and the American people that the intelligence community operating lawfully and has the necessary authorities and tools accomplish its mission and keep America safe. Part our mission, beyond the oversight continue provide the intelligence community and its activities, investigate Russian interference the 2016 U.S. elections. The committees work continues. This hearing represents part that effort.
Jim, allegations have been swirling the press for the last several weeks, and todays your opportunity set the record straight. Yesterday read with interest your statement for the record, and think provides some helpful details surrounding your interactions with the President. clearly lays out your understanding those discussions, actions you took following each conversation, and your state mind. very much appreciate your candor, and think its helpful work through determine the ultimate truth
1-176 Transcribed by: Annette Montalvo, CSR, RDR, CRR
(WHEREUPON, the following was transcribed behind possible Russian interference the 2016
from audio recording, wit:) elections.
CHAIRMAN SENATOR RICHARD BURR (R-NC):
Your statement also provides texture and like call this hearing order. context your interactions with the President from
Director Comey, and appreciate your your vantage point and outlines strained willingness appear before the committee today, relationship. The American people need hear your
and, more importantly, thank you for your side the story just they need hear the dedicated service and leadership the Federal Presidents descriptions events.
These interactions also highlight the Bureau Investigation. Your appearance today speaks the trust have built over the years, importance the committees ongoing investigation. and looking forward very open and candid Our experienced staff interviewing all relevant
discussion today. parties and some the most sensitive intelligence like remind colleagues that our countrys possession. will establish the facts, separate from will reconvene closed session 1:00 p.m. today, and ask that you reserve for that venue any rampant speculation, and lay them out for the questions that might get into classified American people make their own judgment. Only
information. The directors been very gracious with then will nation able move forward and his time, but the Vice Chairman and have worked put this episode rest.
Theres several outstanding issues not out very specific timeline for his commitment the Hill, will everything can addressed your statement that hope youll clear meet that agreement. for the American people today. Did the
The Senate Select Committee Intelligence Presidents request for loyalty, your impression,
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Transcript Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing
Conducted June 2017 that that the one-on-one dinner January 27th was, and quote, least part effort create some sort patronage relationship, his March 30th phone call asking what you could lift the cloud Russia investigation any way, alter your approach the FBIs investigation into General Flynn, the broader investigation into Russia and possible links the campaign. your opinion, did potential Russian efforts establish links with individuals the Trump orbit rise the level could define collusion? was counterintelligence concern?
Theres been significant public speculation about your decision-making related the Clinton e-mail investigation. Why did you decide publicly publicly announce FBIs recommendations that the Department Justice not pursue criminal charges? You have described choice between bad decision and worse decision. The American people need understand the facts behind your action.
This committee uniquely suited
And let start again actually thanking all the members the committee for the seriousness which theyve taken this task.
Mr. Comey, thank you for agreeing come testify part this committees investigation into Russia. realize that this hearing has been, obviously, the focus lot Washington the last few days. But the truth is, many Americans who may tuning today probably havent focused every twist and turn the investigation. like briefly describe, least from this senators standpoint, what already know and what were still investigating. clear, this whole investigation not about relitigating the election. Its not about who won lost. And sure heck not about Democrats versus Republicans.
Were here because foreign adversary attacked right here home, plain and simple, not guns missiles, but foreign operatives seeking hijack our most important democratic process, our presidential election. investigate Russias interference the 2016 elections. also have unified, bipartisan approach what highly charged partisan issue. Russian activities during 2016 election may have been aimed one partys candidate, but colleague Senator Rubio says frequently, 2018 and 2020, could aimed anyone, home abroad. colleague Senator Warner and have worked have worked stay lockstep this investigation. Weve had our differences approach, times, but Ive constantly stressed that need team, and think Senator Warner agrees with me. must keep these questions above politics and partisanship. Its too important tainted anyone trying score political points.
With that, again, welcome you, Director, and turn the Vice Chairman for any comments might have.
SENATOR MARK WARNER (D-VA): Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Russian spies engaged series online cyber raids and broad campaign disinformation, all ultimately aimed sowing chaos undermine public faith our process, our leadership, and, ultimately, ourselves. And thats not just this senators opinion. the unanimous determination the entire U.S. intelligence community. must find out the full story, what the Russians did, and, candidly, some other colleagues have mentioned, why they were successful. And, more importantly, must determine the necessary steps take protect our democracy and ensure they cant again.
The Chairman mentioned elections 2018 and 2020. home state Virginia, have elections this year, 2017. Simply put, cannot let anything anyone prevent from getting the bottom this.
Now, Mr. Comey, let say the outset,
havent always agreed every issue. fact, Ive occasionally questioned some the actions youve taken. But Ive never had any reason question
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Conducted June 2017 your integrity, your expertise, your intelligence. Youve been straight shooter with this committee and have been willing speak truth power, even the risk your own career, which makes the way which you were fired the President ultimately shocking.
Recall, began this entire process with the President and his staff first denying that the Russians were ever involved, and then falsely claiming that one from his team was ever touch with any Russians. know thats just not the truth. Numerous Trump associates had undisclosed contacts with Russians before and after the election, including the Presidents attorney general, his former national security adviser, and his current senior adviser, Mr. Kushner.
That doesnt even begin count the host additional campaign associates and advisers whove also been caught this massive web. saw Mr. Trumps campaign manager, Mr. Manafort, forced step down over ties Russian-backed entities. Comey dinner, the President appears have threatened the directors job while telling him, quote, need loyalty. expect loyalty. later meeting February 14th, the President asked the attorney general leave the Oval Office that could privately ask Director Comey, again, quote, see way clear letting Flynn go.
That statement that Director Comey interpreted request that drop the investigation connected General Flynns false statements. Think about it: The President the United States asking the FBI director drop ongoing investigation. And, after that, the President called the FBI director two additional occasions, March 30th and April 11th, and asked him again, quote, lift the cloud the Russian investigation.
Now, Director Comey denied each these improper requests. The loyalty pledge, the admonition drop the Flynn investigation, the request lift the cloud the Russia The national security adviser, General Flynn, had resign over his lies about engagements with the Russians. And saw the candidate himself express odd and unexplained affection for the Russian dictator, while calling for the hacking his opponent. Theres lot investigate. Enough, fact, that then Director Comey publicly acknowledged that was leading investigation into those links between Mr. Trumps campaign and the Russian government. the director the FBI, Mr. Comey was
ultimately responsible for conducting that investigation, which might explain why youre sitting now private citizen.
What didnt know was the same time that this investigation was proceeding, the President himself appears have been engaged effort influence, least co-opt, the director the FBI.
The testimony that Mr. Comey has submitted for todays hearing very disturbing. For example, January 27th, after summoning Director 12) investigation. course, after his refusals, Director Comey was fired.
The initial explanation for the firing didnt pass any smell test. now Director Comey was fired because didnt treat Hillary Clinton appropriately. course, that explanation lasted about day, because the President himself then made very clear that was thinking about Russia when decided fire Director Comey.
Shockingly, reports suggest that the President admitted much Oval Office meeting with the Russians the day after Director Comey was fired, disparaging our countrys top law enforcement official quote-unquote, nut job. The President allegedly suggested that his firing relieved great pressure his feelings about Russia.
This not happening isolation. the same time the President was engaged these efforts with Director Comey, was also, least allegedly, asking senior leaders the intelligence community downplay the Russia investigation
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Conducted June 2017 intervene with the director.
Yesterday had DNI Director Coats and NSA Director Admiral Rogers, who were offered number opportunities flatly deny those press reports. They expressed their opinions, but they did not take that opportunity deny those reports. They did not take advantage that opportunity. belief, thats not how the President the United States should behave.
Regardless the outcome our
investigation into the Russia links, Director Comeys firing and his testimony raise separate and troubling questions that must get the bottom of. Again, said the outset, Ive seen firsthand how seriously every member this committee taking his work. proud the committees efforts far.
Let clear: This not witch hunt. This not fake news. effort protect our country from new threat that, quite honestly, will not away any time soon.
So, Mr. Comey, your testimony here today thank you for inviting here testify today.
Ive submitted statement for the record and not going repeat here this morning. thought would just offer some very brief introductory remarks, and then would welcome your questions.
When was appointed FBI director 2013, understood that served the pleasure the President. Even though was appointed 10-year term, which Congress created order underscore the importance the FBI being outside politics and independent, understood that could fired president for any reason for reason all.
And May the 9th, when learned that
had been fired, for that reason, immediately came home private citizen. But then, the explanations, the shifting explanations, confused and increasingly concerned me.
They confused because the President and
had had multiple conversations about job, both before and after took office. And had will help move towards that goal. look forward that testimony.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Thank you, Vice Chairman.
Director, discussed when you agreed appear before the committee, would under oath. ask you please stand. Raise your right hand. you solemnly swear tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, help you God?
MR. COMEY (off mike): do.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Please seated.
Director Comey, youre now under oath.
And would just note members, you will recognized seniority for period seven minutes. And, again, the intent move closed session later than 1:00 p.m.
With that, Director Comey, you are recognized. You have the floor for long you might need.
MR. COMEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ranking Member Warner, members the committee, (13 16) repeatedly told was doing great job and hoped would stay. And had repeatedly assured him that did intend stay and serve out the remaining six years term. told repeatedly that had talked lots people about me, including our current attorney general, and had learned that was doing great job and that was extremely well-liked the FBI workforce. confused when saw television the President saying that actually fired because the Russia investigation and learned, again from the media, that was telling, privately other parties that firing had relieved great pressure the Russia investigation. was also confused the initial explanation that was offered publicly, that was fired because the decisions had made during the election year. That didnt make sense for whole bunch reasons, including the time and all the water that had gone under the bridge since those hard decisions that had made. That didnt
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Conducted June 2017 make any sense me.
And although the law required reason all fire FBI director, the administration then chose defame and, more importantly, the FBI saying that the organization was disarray, that was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence its leader.
Those were lies, plain and simple, and sorry that the FBI workforce had hear them and sorry that the American people were told them. worked every day the FBI help make that great organization better. And say help because did nothing alone the FBI. There are indispensable people the FBI. The organizations great strength that its values and abilities run deep and wide. The FBI will fine without me. The FBIs mission will relentlessly pursued its people, and that mission protect the American people and uphold the Constitution the United States. will deeply miss being part that mission, but this for minutes, Vice Chair for minutes, based upon the agreement have.
Director, did the Special Counsels Office review and/or edit your written testimony?
MR. COMEY: No.
CHAIRMAN BURR: you have any doubt that Russia attempted interfere the 2016 elections?
MR. COMEY: None.
CHAIRMAN BURR: you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions the DNC and the DCCC systems and the subsequent leaks that information?
MR. COMEY: No, doubt.
CHAIRMAN BURR: you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion the state voter files?
MR. COMEY: No.
CHAIRMAN BURR: you have any doubt that officials the Russian government were fully aware these activities?
MR. COMEY: doubt.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Are you confident that organization and its mission will long beyond and long beyond any particular administration. have message before close for the former colleagues the FBI. But, first, want the American people know this truth: The FBI honest. The FBI strong. And the FBI is, and always will be, independent.
And now former colleagues, may. sorry that didnt get the chance say goodbye you properly. was the honor life serve beside you, part the FBI family, And will miss for the rest life. Thank you for standing watch. Thank you for doing much good for this country. that good long ever you can.
And, Senators, look forward your
questions.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director, thank you for that testimony, both oral and the written testimony that you provided the committee yesterday and made public the American people.
The Chair would recognize himself, first, (17 20) votes cast the 2016 presidential election were altered?
MR. COMEY: confident. the time when left director, had seen indication that whatsoever.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director Comey, did the
President any time ask you stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement the 2016 U.S. elections?
MR. COMEY: Not understanding, no.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Did any individual working
for this administration, including the Justice Department, ask you stop the Russian investigation?
MR. COMEY: No.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director, when the President
requested that you, and quote, let Flynn go, General Flynn had unreported contact with the Russians, which offense. And press accounts are right, there might have been discrepancies between facts and his FBI testimony. your estimation, was General Flynn
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MR. COMEY: General Flynn that point time was legal jeopardy. There was open FBI criminal investigation his statements connection with the Russian contacts and the contacts themselves. And that was assessment the time. dont think its for say whether the conversation had with the President was effort obstruct. took very disturbing thing, very concerning, but thats conclusion sure the special counsel will work towards, try and understand what the intention was there, and whether thats offense.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director, possible that part this FBI investigation, the FBI could find evidence criminality that not tied the 2016 elections, possible collusion, try and protect the justice institution, including the FBI.
CHAIRMAN BURR: the public domain this question the Steele dossier, document that has been around, now, for over year. not sure when the FBI first took possession it, but the media had before you had and had it. the time your departure from the FBI, was the FBI able confirm any criminal allegations contained the Steele document?
MR. COMEY: Mr. Chairman, dont think thats question can answer open setting because goes into the details the investigation.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director, the term hear
most often collusion. When people are describing possible links between Americans and Russian government entities related the interference our election, would you say that its normal for foreign governments reach out members incoming administration?
MR. COMEY: Yes. coordination with Russians?
MR. COMEY: Sure.
CHAIRMAN BURR: there could something that just fits criminal aspect this that doesnt have anything with the 2016 election cycle?
MR. COMEY: Correct. any complex investigation, when you start turning over rocks, sometimes you find things that are -VOICE: (Off mike) Amen.
MR. COMEY: unrelated the primary investigation that are criminal nature.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director Comey, you have been criticized publicly for the decision present your findings the e-mail investigation directly the American people. Have you learned anything since that time that wouldve changed what you said how you chose inform the American people?
MR. COMEY: Honestly, no. mean, caused whole lot personal pain for me, but look back, given what knew the time and even what Ive learned since, think was the best way (21 24)
CHAIRMAN BURR: what point does the normal contact cross the line into attempt recruit agents influence spies?
MR. COMEY: Difficult say the abstract. depends upon the context, whether theres effort keep covert, what the nature the requests made the American the foreign government are. Its its judgment call based whole lot facts.
CHAIRMAN BURR: what point would that recruitment become counterintelligence threat our country?
MR. COMEY: Again, difficult answer the abstract. But when when foreign power using especially coercion some sort pressure try and co-opt American, especially government official act its behalf, thats serious concern the FBI and the heart the FBIs counterintelligence mission.
CHAIRMAN BURR: youve got 36-page document specific claims that are out there, the FBI would have to, for
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Conducted June 2017 counterintelligence reasons, try verify anything that might claimed there, one, and probably first and foremost, the counterintelligence concerns that have about blackmail? Would that accurate statement?
MR. COMEY: Yes. the FBI receives credible allegation that there some effort co-opt, coerce, direct, employ covertly American behalf the foreign power, thats the basis which counterintelligence investigation opened.
CHAIRMAN BURR: And when you read the dossier, what was your reaction, given that was 100 percent directed the President-elect?
MR. COMEY: Not question can answer open setting, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Okay. When did you become aware the cyber intrusion?
MR. COMEY: The first cyber was all kinds cyber intrusions going all the time. The first Russia-connected cyber intrusion, became aware the late summer 2015.
CHAIRMAN BURR: And that timeframe, there undertaken effort notify all the victims, and thats what consider the entities that were attacked part this massive spear phishing campaign. And notified them effort disrupt what might ongoing.
Then there was series continuing interactions with entities through the rest into 16, and then throughout the Administration was trying decide how respond the intrusion activity that saw.
CHAIRMAN BURR: And the FBI, this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate did you ever have access the actual hardware that was hacked? did you have rely third party provide you the data that they had collected?
MR. COMEY: the case the DNC, and, believe, the DCCC, but sure the DNC, did not have access the devices themselves. got relevant forensic information from private party, high-class entity, that had done the work. But didnt get direct access.
CHAIRMAN BURR: But content? were more than the DNC and the DCCC that were targets?
MR. COMEY: Correct. There was massive effort target government and nongovernmental near-governmental agencies like nonprofits.
CHAIRMAN BURR: What would the estimate how many entities out there the Russians specifically targeted that timeframe?
MR. COMEY: Its hundreds. suppose could more than 1,000, but its least hundreds.
CHAIRMAN BURR: When did you become aware that data had been exfiltrated?
MR. COMEY: not sure, exactly. think either late early 16.
CHAIRMAN BURR: And did did you, the director the FBI, have conversations with the last administration about the risk that this posed?
MR. COMEY: Yes.
CHAIRMAN BURR: And share with us, you will, what actions they took.
MR. COMEY: Well, the FBI had already (25 28)
MR. COMEY: Correct.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Isnt content important part the forensics, from counterintelligence standpoint?
MR. COMEY: is, although what was briefed folks, the people who were folks the time, that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed understand the intrusion the spring 2016.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Let back, can, very briefly, the decision publicly out with your results the e-mail.
Was your decision influenced the attorney generals tarmac meeting with the former President Bill Clinton?
MR. COMEY: Yes. ultimately
conclusive way, that was the thing that capped for me, that had something separately protect the credibility the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Were there other things that
contributed that that you can describe open
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MR. COMEY: There were other things that contributed that. One significant item cant, know the committees been briefed on. Theres been some public accounts which are nonsense, but understand the committees been briefed the classified facts.
Probably the only other consideration that guess can talk about open setting is, one point, the attorney general had directed not call investigation, but instead call matter, which confused and concerned me. But that was one the bricks the load that led conclude, have step away from the department were close this case credibly.
CHAIRMAN BURR: Director, last question: Youre not only seasoned prosecutor, youve led the FBI for years. You understand the investigative process. Youve worked with this committee closely, and were grateful you because think weve -21 weve mutually built trust what your organization does and and what do. leadership and, obviously, trust your integrity. want through number the meetings that you referenced your testimony. And lets start with the January 6th meeting Trump Tower, where you went with series officials brief the President-elect the Russia investigation. understanding you remained afterwards brief him on, again, quote, some personally sensitive aspects the information you relayed.
Now, you said after that briefing you felt compelled document that conversation, that you actually started documenting soon you got into the car.
Now, youve had extensive experience the
Department Justice and the FBI. Youve worked under presidents both parties. What was about that meeting that led you determine that you needed start putting down written record?
MR. COMEY: combination things.
think the circumstances, the subject matter and the person was interacting with. Circumstances, there any doubt your mind that this
committee can carry out its oversight role the
2016 Russian involvement the elections
parallel with the now special counsel thats been
set up?
MR. COMEY: doubt. can done. requires lots conversations, but Bob Mueller one this countrys great, great pros, And
sure you all will able work out with him, run parallel.
CHAIRMAN BURR: want thank you once
again, and want turn the vice chairman.
VICE CHAIRMAN SENATOR MARK WARNER (D-VA):
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, again, Director Comey, thank you for
your service, and your comments your FBI family
know were heartfelt. Know that even though there
are some the Administration whove tried smear
your reputation, you had Acting Director McCabe
public testimony few weeks back and public
testimony yesterday reaffirm that the vast majority the FBI community had great trust your (29 32) first, was alone with the President the United States the President-elect, soon President. The subject matter, was talking about matters that touch the FBIs core responsibility and that relate the President, President-elect personally. And then the nature the person. was honestly concerned that might lie about the nature our meeting, and thought really important document.
That combination things, never experienced before, but led believe Ive got write down, and Ive got write down very detailed way.
SENATOR WARNER: think thats very important statement you just made. And understanding that then, again, unlike your dealings with presidents either parties your past experience, every subsequent meeting conversation with this President, you created written record.
Did you feel that you needed create this written record these memos because they might
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MR. COMEY: Sure. created records after conversations, and think did after each our nine conversations. didnt, did for nearly all them, especially the ones that were substantive. knew that there might come day when would need record what had happened, not just defend myself, but defend the FBI and and our integrity institution and the independence our investigative function. Thats what made this difficult, was combination circumstances, subject matter, and the particular person.
SENATOR WARNER: And all your experience, this was the only president that you felt like, every meeting, you needed document, because some point, using your words, might put out non-truthful representation that meeting?
Now, Mark -21
MR. COMEY: Thats right, Senator. have said, that you were great deals been made whether the President you were asked to, effect, indicate whether the President was the subject any investigation.
And understanding is, prior your meeting January 6th, you discussed with your leadership team whether not you should prepared assure then President-Elect Trump that the FBI was not investigating him personally.
Now, understanding your leadership
team agreed with that. But was that unanimous decision? Was there any debate about that?
MR. COMEY: Was unanimous? One the members the leadership team had view that although was technically true, did not have counterintelligence file case open then-President-elect Trump.
His concern was because were looking the potential again, thats the subject the investigation coordination between the campaign and Russia, because was President Trump -22 President-elect Trumps campaign, this persons view
And said written
testimony, FBI director, interacted with President Obama. spoke only twice three years, and didnt document it. When was deputy attorney general, had one one-on-one meeting with President Bush about very important and difficult national security matter. didnt write memo documenting that conversation either. Sent quick e-mail staff let them know there was something going on, but didnt feel, with President Bush, the need document that way. Again, because the combination those factors just wasnt present with either President Bush President Obama.
SENATOR WARNER: think that very significant. think others will probably question that.
Now, our the Chairman and have requested those memos. our hope that the FBI will get this committee access those memos that, again, can read that contemporaneous rendition that weve got your side the story.
Now, know members have said, and press (33 36) was, inevitably, his behavior, his conduct, will fall within the scope that work. And was reluctant make the statement that made. disagreed. thought was fair say what was literally true: There not counterintelligence investigation Mr. Trump. And decided, the moment, say it, given the nature our conversation.
SENATOR WARNER: that moment time. Did you ever revisit that these subsequent sessions?
MR. COMEY: With the FBI leadership team?
SENATOR WARNER: With the team with your team.
MR. COMEY: Sure, and and the the leader who had that view, didnt change. His view was still that was probably although literally true, his concern was could misleading, because the nature the investigation was such that might well touch obviously, would touch the campaign, and the person the head the campaign would the candidate. And that
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SENATOR WARNER: Let move the January 27th dinner, where you said, quote, The President began asking whether wanted stay FBI director. also indicated that lots people again, your words wanted the job.
You say that the dinner itself was seemingly effort to, quote, have you ask him for your job, and create some sort of, quote-unquote, patronage relationship.
The President seems, from reading your memo, holding your job, your possibility continuing your job, over your head fairly direct way. What was your impression, and what did you mean this notion patronage relationship?
MR. COMEY: Well, impression, and, again, its impression, could always wrong. But common sense told that what was going either had concluded, someone had told him, that you didnt youve already asked Comey stay, and you didnt get anything for it, and that the dinner was effort build relationship whats going here that hes looking get something exchange for granting request stay the job.
SENATOR WARNER: And, again, all understand was governor, had people work for me. But this constant request and, again, quoting you, him saying that despite you explaining your independence, kept coming back need loyalty. expect loyalty.
Had you ever had any those kind
requests before from anyone else youd worked for the government?
MR. COMEY: No. And what made uneasy was Im, that point, the director the FBI. The reason that Congress created ten-year term that the director not feeling theyre serving with political loyalty owed any particular person.
The the statue Justice has blindfold because youre not supposed peeking out see whether your patron pleased not with what youre doing. should about the facts and the fact, asked specifically loyalty the context asking stay.
And, said, what was odd about that wed already talked twice about that point. And hed said, very much hope youll stay. hope youll stay. fact, just remembered, sitting here, third one. When youve seen the picture walking across the Blue Room. And what the President whispered ear was, really look forward working with you. So, after those encounters -SENATOR WARNER: And that was just few days before you were fired?
MR. COMEY: Yeah, that was the the Sunday after the inauguration. The next Friday, have dinner, and the President begins wanting talk about job. And sitting there thinking, wait minute, three times weve already youve already asked stay, talked about staying. And common sense -22 again, could wrong, but common sense told law. Thats why was thats why became FBI director, that kind position. thats why was uneasy.
SENATOR WARNER: Well, let let move on. times running out.
February 14th again, seems bit strange. You were meeting, and your direct superior, the attorney general, was that meeting, well. Yet the President asked everyone leave, including the attorney general leave, before brought the matter General Flynn.
What was your impression that type action? Had you ever seen anything like that before?
MR. COMEY: No. impression was, something big about happen. need remember every single word that spoken. And, again, could wrong, but years old, Ive been seen few things. sense was the attorney general knew shouldnt leaving, which why was lingering, And dont know Mr. Kushner well, but think picked the
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Conducted June 2017 same thing. And knew something was about happen that needed pay very close attention to.
SENATOR WARNER: And found very interesting that the memo that you wrote after this February 14th pull-aside, you made clear that you wrote that memo way that was unclassified. you affirmatively made the decision write memo that was unclassified, was that because you felt, some point, the facts that meeting would have come clean and come clear and actually able cleared way that could shared with the American people?
MR. COMEY: Well, remember thinking this very disturbing development, really important our work. need document and preserve way and and this committee gets this, but sometimes when things are classified, tangles them up. Its hard -SENATOR WARNER: Amen.
MR. COMEY: share within
investigative team. Its you have very careful about how you handle it, for good reason.
MR. COMEY: No.
SENATOR WARNER: think, again, this speaks volumes. This doesnt even get the questions around the the phone calls about lifting the cloud. know other members will get that, but really appreciate your testimony and appreciate your service our nation.
MR. COMEY: Thank you, Senator Warner.
You know, just sitting here, were going through contacts with him. had one conversation with the President that was classified where asked about our ongoing intelligence investigation. was brief and entirely professional.
SENATOR WARNER: But didnt ask you
take any specific action that?
MR. COMEY: Oh, no. No.
SENATOR WARNER: Unlike what had done vis- -vis Mr. Flynn and the overall Russia investigation?
MR. COMEY: Correct.
SENATOR WARNER: Thank you, sir. thinking was, write such way that dont include anything that would trigger classification, thatll make easier for discuss within the FBI and the government and hold way that makes accessible us.
SENATOR WARNER: Well, again, its our hope, particularly since youre pretty knowledgeable guy and you wrote this way that was unclassified, that this committee will get access that unclassified document. think itll very important our investigation.
Let just ask this closing: How many ongoing investigations, any time, does the FBI have going on? Going -MR. COMEY: Oh, tens thousands.
SENATOR WARNER: Tens thousands.
Did the President ever ask about any other ongoing investigation?
MR. COMEY: No.
SENATOR WARNER: Did ever ask about you trying interfere any other investigation? (41 44)
CHAIRMAN BURR: Senator Risch.
SENATOR JAMES RISCH (R-ID): Thank you very much.
Mr. Comey, thank you for your service. America needs more like you, and really appreciate it.
Yesterday, got, and everybody got, the seven pages your direct testimony thats now part the record here. And the first read it, then read again, and all could think was, number one, how much hated the class legal writing when was law school. And you were the guy that probably got the after after reading this. find clear, find concise. And having been prosecutor for number years and handling hundred, maybe thousands, cases, and read police reports, investigative reports, this good gets. And and really appreciate that, not only not only the conciseness and the clearness it, but also the fact that you have things that were written down contemporaneously when
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Conducted June 2017 they happened, and you actually put them quotes, know exactly what happened and were not getting some rendition that thats your mind. -MR. COMEY: Thank you, Senator.
SENATOR RISCH: youre youre complimented for that.
MR. COMEY: had great parents and great teachers who beat that into me.
SENATOR RISCH: Thats obvious, sir.
The the Chairman walked you through number things that that the American people need know and want know. Number one, obviously, were all know about the active measures that the Russians have taken. think lot people were surprised this. Those that work the intelligence community didnt didnt come surprise. But now the American people know this, and its good they know this, because this serious, and its problem. think, secondly, gather from all this that youre willing say now that while you careful open setting, but -SENATOR RISCH: not going any further than that.
MR. COMEY: Okay.
SENATOR RISCH: thank you. addition that, after that, you sought out both Republican and Democrat senators tell them that, Hey, dont know where this coming from, but this not the this not factual. you recall that?
MR. COMEY: Yes.
SENATOR RISCH: Okay. so, again, the American people can understand this, that report the New York Times was not true; that fair statement?
MR. COMEY: the main, was not true. And, again, all you know this, maybe the American people dont. The challenge, and not picking reporters, about writing stories about classified information is, that people talking about often dont really know whats going on, and those who actually know whats going were director, the President the United States was not under investigation; that fair statement?
MR. COMEY: Thats correct.
SENATOR RISCH: All right. thats fact that can rely this -MR. COMEY: Yes, sir.
SENATOR RISCH: Okay. remember, you you talked with shortly after February 14th, when the New York Times wrote article that suggested that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians. You remember reading that article when first came out?
MR. COMEY: do. was about allegedly extensive electronic surveillance -SENATOR RISCH: Correct.
MR. COMEY: communications. Yes, do.
SENATOR RISCH: And and that upset you the point where you actually went out and surveyed the intelligence community see whether whether you were missing something that; that correct?
MR. COMEY: Thats correct. want (45 48) are not talking about it. And dont call the press say, Hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic. just have leave there. mentioned the Chairman the nonsense around what influenced make the July 5th statement. Nonsense. But cant explaining how its nonsense.
SENATOR RISCH: Thank you.
All right. those three things now know regarding the active measures, whether the Presidents under investigation and the collusion between the the Russian the Trump campaign and the Russians. want drill right down, time limited, the most recent dust-up regarding allegations that the President the United States obstructed justice. And, boy, you nailed this down page paragraph You put this quotes, words matter. You wrote down the words can all have the words front now. Theres words there that are quotes, and says, quote,
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Conducted June 2017 hope this the President speaking hope you can see your way clear letting this go, letting Flynn go. good guy. hope you can let this go.
Now, those are his exact words; that