Following former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, two retired FBI agents have forwarded their own review of Comey’s testimony to DennisMichaelLynch.com.
Cesar Paz, a 22-year veteran of the FBI whose undercover work fighting terrorism and criminal organizations took him all the world, has spoken up about Comey before. In October, Paz posted two powerful videos blasting Comey over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton.
Friday, Paz was joined by retired FBI supervisor Jeff Danik, who spent 30 years with the bureau fighting crime and terrorism. The two sat down in an informal setting and recorded their thoughts and concerns about Comey’s testimony. They both clarified they are giving their own opinions, and are not speaking for all FBI agents, but they have received feedback from other agents.
We share their four-part analysis below:
PART 1 – Paz noted that Comey complained that President Trump had “insulted” him and insulted the FBI. Comey said he had a good relationship with the FBI agents, and Trump didn’t even give him a chance to tell them good-bye. Paz argued that, based on his interactions with a large number of FBI agents, Comey’s relationship with them had actually deteriorated, especially during the campaign year.
Paz slammed Comey again for saying in July that could not find any reason to charge Hillary Clinton, after giving a long list of violations she had committed.
Danik acknowledged that many FBI agents do believe that the way in which Comey was terminated was wrong – but they are not upset because he was terminated. In Danik’s current practice, he said many of his clients are people who have reported waste, fraud, and abuse within the FBI. He alleged that Comey was “in the loop, knew about this and has done nothing.”
Regarding the Hillary email investigation, Danik said Comey should have been fired for making a “unilateral declination of a criminal case,” because that decision legally rests with the Attorney General and the Justice Department. Since Loretta Lynch recused herself, Danik said the power did not fall to Comey – the power legally fell to the next person in line at the DOJ.
PART 2 – Paz commented on the “memo” which Comey admitted that he gave to a friend to leak out to the media. “Where is the memo? Who has the memo?” Paz asked. He said if an agent were to do that, the agent would be in trouble. “That memo belongs to the government,” Paz said.
“Comey admitted, under oath, that he took an action to materially affect an investigation – that is an obstruction of justice,” he said, adding that Comey admitted he gave the memo out to get it into the hands of a special prosecutor. “He doesn’t have the right to do that,” Paz agreed.
Now the person who is handling the case is the special prosecutor – who is a close friend of James Comey.
They further reviewed the circumstances surrounding Comey leaking out a memo, noting his claim of wanting to get his notes out there after he realized there may potentially be tapes of his discussions with the president. Paz said there is a law that specifically prohibits any government employee from removing property, including unclassified documents and sharing it with anyone not authorized to receive it.
Danik said he if typed the memo on a government laptop, there will be an electronic footprint of it.
Paz commended Comey’s admission that the New York Times’ claim of a collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was false.
PART 3 – Several things Comey said in his testimony could get him in trouble, Paz stated, including leaking the memo and putting material in someone else’s hands, which was an obstruction of justice.
Additionally, he asked, why didn’t Comey write a memo about Loretta Lynch asking him to call the probe into Hillary Clinton a “matter” instead of an “investigation”? Why only write a memo about a meeting with President Trump?
Danik referred to the “chance meeting” of Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton on the airport tarmac, noting that it occurred on the eve of Hillary testifying before the FBI. He also noted that Bill Clinton had privileged, spousal protection – so if they just happened to discuss something about Hillary, or Lynch needed to “pass a message to Hillary,” he said Bill Clinton would not have to testify of that.
PART 4 – Danik stated he believed Comey went into the hearing Thursday with the intent to make it appear that President Trump obstructed the investigation into General Mike Flynn.
Danik said Comey built up this big, dramatic case about how he was left alone with the President, as if that was a bad thing. He said it’s completely allowed and permitted for the FBI director to be alone with the President to discuss a pending criminal matter.
Paz said Comey alone is the one responsible for tarnishing the reputation of the FBI – not President Trump – noting that Trump was not even the president last year when Comey made the decisions he did.
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