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Are criminal charges on the way for James Comey? One pundit thinks so
Rich Girard / CCL
Political commentator and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, an unindicted target of the special counsel’s Russia probe, believes that the days of freedom are numbered for one former FBI director. In an interview with Newsmax, Corsi suggested that James Comey could soon require the services of a criminal defense attorney.
“If I was Comey,” Corsi told Newsmax, “I would advise him to get a top criminal lawyer right away. I think he’ll be facing criminal charges.”
The tables have turned
The 72-year-old author of Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s “Witch Hunt” was offered a plea deal in November after the special counsel said he “willfully lied” when he denied knowing in advance that WikiLeaks was about to publish disparaging emails about the Hillary Clinton campaign. Corsi said he would “rather sit in prison and rot” than say he lied to Mueller, and the perjury charge against him was eventually dropped.
“They wanted me to connect [longtime Trump advisor] Roger Stone to [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange because this was going to be their collusion link,” Corsi said during a Sunday interview with Fox & Friends’ Ed Henry. “It was going to be Donald Trump to Roger Stone, to Jerry Corsi to Assange. But I’ve never met Assange,” Corsi asserted, accusing special counsel prosecutors of becoming “abusive” and “angry” when he failed to make the collusion connection.
“I rejected the plea deal, expecting Mueller would indict me,” Corsi explained. “But yet they lacked the evidence to convict me — and they evidently knew that.”
FBI under pressure
Free from prosecution, Corsi is now speculating that Obama administration officials from the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) could face serious legal consequences for how they handled the Russian interference investigation. Although Corsi is often dismissed as a right-wing conspiracist for peddling outrageous political theories, there are several reasons to suggest that he may be on to something here.
First, Corsi’s predictions regarding Mueller’s inquiry have so far been spot on. He insisted that there was no connection between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign — a conjecture that Attorney General William Barr confirmed in a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings.
Additionally, Barr’s recent congressional testimony has confirmed that the attorney general harbors serious suspicions about the conduct of the FBI’s collusion investigation.
“I think spying did occur,” Barr told members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated.”
Barr also strongly implied that Comey may have acted illegally as the FBI chief overseeing the Trump-Russia counterintelligence probe. “I think there was probably a failure among a group of leaders there at the upper echelon,” Barr said, adding that “spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”
Responding to Barr’s spying allegations, Comey quickly adopted his prototypical “aw shucks” demeanor, retorting: “I don’t know what the heck he’s talking about.”
Comey, a veteran prosecutor, handled questions before the House Judiciary Committee in December in a similar fashion, pleading ignorance and claiming memory lapses about the earliest stages of the Russia investigation. He couldn’t recall who started the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation and refused to say what evidence the bureau possessed to justify the political probe.
Corsi said that Barr’s testimony is significant because “it shows that there was illegality in the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant process, probably using the Steele dossier.” Along with other senior members of the FBI and DOJ, Comey convinced FISA court judges to approve a wiretap warrant for Trump campaign aide Carter Page, a request that was based upon unverified opposition research supplied by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Clinton campaign.
A DOJ inspector general is currently investigating the FBI’s Russia investigation for evidence of political bias, and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) of the House Intelligence Committee is expected to issue as many as eight criminal referrals to the DOJ accusing Obama-era officials of mishandling the Russia probe. Corsi believes that Comey could be charged with “obstruction of justice,” as well as “exonerating Hillary, a double-standard of justice, blocking a legitimate investigation — there are going to be a lot of charges in there on obstructing justice,” he said.
“I think it’s going to start with [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe and it’s going to go to extensively throughout the Obama appointees,” Corsi predicted. “They knew the Steele dossier was bogus, but they were convinced that Trump was colluding with Russia, because Hillary made that argument and they all believed it. So now they were all out to prove it, to prove that had happened.”
Only time will tell if Corsi is right. But based upon multiple ongoing investigations, it appears that the public has barely scratched the surface when it comes to potential criminality from the Obama FBI and DOJ.
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