Comey's Former Chief Of Staff Testifies On Clinton Email Investigation, Her Exoneration, And More

House committees sat down with former FBI Director James Comey's chief of staff, James Rybicki Thursday morning in conjunction with an ongoing probe into the bureau's conduct while investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information.

The scope of discsussion will be limited to how the bureau handled the Clinton email investigation, according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and will likely avoid conflicting with special counsel Robert Mueller's ever-morphing Trump-Russia investigation. 

James Rybicki

Congressional Republicans have sought Rybicki's testimony for months on the hope that he can provide key information supportive of President Trump's decision to fire James Comey, while Democrats have called the GOP investigation an effort to undermine the ongoing Mueller probe. 

Last fall, Senate Republicans released a partial transcript of an interview with two FBI officials - one of whom Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Graham (R-SC) believe to be Rybicki. During the interview, investigators were told that Comey decided in early May 2016 to draft his exoneration of Hillary Clinton.  

Rybicki, as it turns out, was involved at some level in the crafting of Hillary Clinton's exoneration - which downgraded Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and use of a private server from the legally consequential phrase "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless" - not a legal term of art.

Moreover, the edits to former FBI Director James Comey's original draft went far beyond what was previously known, as detailed in a letter from Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to FBI Director Christopher Wray, which revealed specific edits made by senior FBI agents to Comey's draft after Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey's statement with senior FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, Strzok's direct supervisor, E.W. "Bill" Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) - in what would ultimately decriminalize Clinton's conduct, allowing them to recommend against prosecuting then-candidate Hillary Clinton. 

FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and was removed from the Mueller probe after an internal investigation found a trove of anti-Trump text messages between Strzok and his mistress, Lisa Page while they were both investigating Hillary Clinton's email case. 

Last year, the Justice Department sought to block Rybicki from appearing before Congress - defying requests from Senate Judiciary heads Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who were willing to keep the testimony to matters outside the scope of Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation. 

The DOJ refused, “consistent with the Department’s long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters" - pointing to the "confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters," as well as the ongoing Mueller investigation.

Tarmac Meeting? 

Six days before James Comey conveyed the FBI's recommendation that the DOJ not prosecute Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton had an (almost) clandestine 30-minute "tarmac" meeting in Phoenix on June 27, 2016 Lynch had previously said was ‘unscheduled’ - described as an ‘ambush’ and that she ‘wouldn’t do it again.’ 

Emails released in December by the FBI reveal an internal effort by FBI officials to figure out who tipped off the media. 

series of emails show one FBI official, whose name and email are redacted, fuming over leaks to the media about the meeting and what happened on the tarmac. The official received an email from a "layman" alleging a local Phoenix police officer who may have talked to a reporter "sounds like a security threat."

Officials went back and forth about finding out if the officer was SWAT or simply worked the motorcade and that "at a minimum" he should never work another detail again. One asked if local law enforcement assisting the FBI on motorcades should sign non-disclosure agreements in the future. Another official called an Observer article about the meeting, with details about how President Clinton got to Lynch's private plane, "infuriating." -Townhall

And in emails obtained by the ACLJ, we learned that Jim Rybicki was involved in the FBI's damage control efforts. 

Per the ACLJ:

One with the subject line “FLAG”was correspondence between FBI officials (Richard Quinn, FBI Media/Investigative Publicity, and Michael Kortan) and DOJ officials concerning “flag[ing] a story . . . about a casual, unscheduled meeting between former president Bill Clinton and the AG.” The DOJ official instructs the FBI to “let me know if you get any questions about this” and provides “[o]ur talkers [DOJ talking points] on this”. The talking points, however are redacted.

Another email to the FBI contains the subject line “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?”

On July 1, 2016 – just days before our FOIA request – a DOJ email chain under the subject line, “FBI just called,” indicates that the “FBI . . . is looking for guidance” in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking pictures of the Clinton Lynch meeting. The discussion then went off email to several phone calls (of which we are not able to obtain records). An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey. The information that was to be provided to Rybicki is redacted.

Between Jim Rybicki's involvement in the Hillary Clinton exoneration - six days after the infamous "tarmac" meeting he would later help contain the fallout from, Congressional investigators should have much to catch up on with James Comey's old Chief of Staff.


JoeTurner Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:18 Permalink

It really is pleasurable to watch the downfall of these Clinton gangsters...I only wish I could be in the room while Hillary and Bill grovel at the feet of GEOTUS begging for pardons...

Cloud9.5 Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:32 Permalink

From its inception, the FBI’s primary objective was image perception.   They got into kidnappings because of the Lindbergh baby.  They surveilled Hollywood in order to blackmail producers, guaranteeing that no negative images made it to the silver screen.  They even produced their own TV show with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. where the FBI always got their man.

We knew when Hoover refused to retire that he had his tentacles wrapped around Washington.  He was above the law and maintained his own fiefdom.   His files outlived him and fell into the hands of the new management.   Bureaucrats are the new aristocrats.  A good read over on The Burning Platform.


naiverealist Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:35 Permalink

Just the same people trying to figure how to pin the rap on some low level functionary who will be convinced that the received $200 check and the promise of job advancement in the future will really pan out and be worth the "support".

Bad_Sushi Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:42 Permalink

Hannity is going nuts about an intelligence report that _Proves_ the collision between the IC and Clinton/DNC to undermine both the election AND continued efforts to work against the sitting POTUS. International ramifications they said, a sitting congressman on his show called for an emergency session of congress to be called to "cut out the cancer," as the bad actors were still in place and actively subverting the POTUS.  

Powerful shit.

Most likely, nothing will ever happen and Hannity will talk about some other crisis tomorrow. 


GunnyG Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:50 Permalink

This shit goes all of the way back to Obama. I'm betting that the Halfrican Muslim pig goes on a speaking tour to a non-extradition country soon.

Miss Expectations Thu, 01/18/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

Hillary's MO is always 2 things:

1.  Destroy or hide evidence

2.  Kill witnesses.

She did both during the Benghazi attack

Here's a new article about who ordered the stand down.  Notice all the familiar FBI names.  Trey Gowdy NEVER questioned the FBI.

Sources: 15 days after Benghazi attack, FBI still investigating from afar…   Under Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, FBI Director Mueller and CIA Director Petraeus Grounded Critical Benghazi Rescue Operation…

TuesdayBen Thu, 01/18/2018 - 18:46 Permalink

NEWS FLASH: Just out from Sara Carter of Circa News: "A review of a classified document outlining what is described as extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse was made available to all House members Thursday and the revelations could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, several sources with knowledge of the document stated. These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates."