Two days ago we highlighted a Washington Post story which suggested that Comey only decided to host his now-infamous July 5th press conference, the one where he said that Hillary was "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information but that he would not pursue charges, after reviewing a "dubious Russian document" which alleged that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch personally assured someone within the Clinton campaign that the FBI's investigation wouldn't "go too far" (see "'Secret' Russian Document Influenced Comey's Probe Into Hillary Clinton: Report").
This was WaPo's salacious title:
The point of Wapo's story was to provide some 'tangible evidence' that Russia had in some way definitively influenced the outcome of the 2016 election. That said, an unfortunate side-effect was that it made Comey and the entire FBI look completely incompetent for being duped by some fake Russian memo.
Of course, we can only assume that Wapo casting Comey and the entire FBI as a bunch of total buffoons didn't sit well with some agents. Therefore, its only reasonable to assume that one of those slighted agents, maybe even Comey himself, decided to correct the record by informing the mainstream media outlets that the FBI knew the Russian intel was fake all along.
And here's where the story gets really fun. CNN, the NYT and all the other mainstream outlets followed Wapo's lead on the "dubious Russian document" story and they couldn't simply retract it because that would (i) be embarrassing and (ii) invalidate their 'proof' that Russia had influenced the election by conning Comey into doing something he otherwise would not have done.
All of which brings us to today's comical headline from CNN:
Yes, you read that right, CNN effectively argues that Russia influenced Comey by not influencing Comey. Here is the thought process from CNN:
Then-FBI Director James Comey knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email was fake -- created by Russian intelligence -- but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself, according to multiple officials with knowledge of the process.
As a result, Comey acted unilaterally last summer to publicly declare the investigation over -- without consulting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch -- while at the same time stating that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information. His press conference caused a firestorm of controversy and drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
It's a win-win really...CNN still gets to 'confirm' that the Russians influenced the election and Comey and the FBI look slightly less incompetent.
Of course, in order to believe any of this utter non-sense you have to completely erase from your memory that inconvenient meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton that took place on the Phoenix tarmac on June 29th...just 6 days before Comey made his announcement...because surely that couldn't have possible tainted Comey's opinion of the DOJ's independence, right?
For those who "do not recall" this event...here is a reminder:
Of course, you would also have to completely dismiss Comey's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he directly confirmed our thesis above, namely that Lynch's meeting with Bill Clinton was, in fact, the reason he determined that the Justice Department couldn't "credibly" end the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
“A number of things had gone on which I can’t talk about yet, that made me worry that the department leadership could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system."
“And then the capper was — and I’m not picking on the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, who I like very much — but her meeting with President Clinton on that airplane was the capper for me, and I then said, you know what, the department cannot, by itself, credibly end this."
But sure, CNN, it wasn't Lynch's meeting with Bill Clinton 6 days prior that forced Comey's hand...it was a fake Russian memo that Comey knew was fake but feared would be leaked to the public that undermined the DOJ's credibility. Can anyone within CNN really believe their own story? Really?