Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says he'll issue subpoenas for former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, but the panel's top Democrat Dianne Feinstein (CA) has to agree to it per committee rules. Grassley also said he would be open to exploring immunity for Comey's former #2, Andrew McCabe.
"I will want to subpoena him," Grassley said of Comey during an appearance on C-SPAN's Newsmakers."
The Iowan added that committee rules require that he and Feinstein "agree to it, and at this point I can’t tell you if she would agree to it. But if she will, yeah, then we will subpoena." -Politico
Feinstein may be hesitant to sign on, as she says she thinks Comey acted in good faith - which means she thinks Congress shouldn't have a crack at questioning a key figure in the largest political scandal in modern history.
"While I disagree with his actions, I have seen no evidence that Mr. Comey acted in bad faith or that he lied about any of his actions," said Feinstein during a Monday Judiciary panel hearing. Former Feinstein staffer and FBI investigator Dan Jones, meanwhile, continues to work with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS on a $50 million investigation privately funded by George Soros and other "wealthy donors" to continue the investigation into Donald Trump.
Also recall that Feinstein leaked Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson's Congressional testimony in January.
Comey skipped out on appearing before Grassley's committee this week following the June 14 release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's (OIG) report on FBI conduct during the Hillary Clinton email investigation - which dinged Comey for being "insubordinate" and showing poor judgement. Horowitz is conducting a separate investigation into the FBI's counterintelligence operation on the Trump campaign, including allegations of FISA surveillance abuse.
Maybe Comey also decided to bail after Horowitz admitted on Monday that he's under a separate investigation for mishandling classified information after leaking a memo to the press documenting what he felt was President Trump obstructing the FBI's probe into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn - which was conducted by the FBI under dubious circumstances, and for which evidence may have been tampered with. Comey's memo was a key component in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's decision to launch a special counsel investigation headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Loretta Lynch, on the other hand, was dinged in the IG report over an "ambiguous" incomplete recusal from the Clinton email "matter" despite a clandestine 30-minute "tarmac" meeting with Bill Clinton one week before the FBI exonerated Hillary Clinton.
All part of the bigger picture...
Despite IG Horowitz ultimately concluding that pro-Clinton / anti-Trump bias among the FBI's top brass did not make its way into the Clinton email investigation, his report revealed alarming facts about FBI officials handling parallel investigations into each candidate who received vastly different treatment.
For starters, it's clear that the FBI rushed to wrap up the Clinton email investigation before the election, while at the same time the agency launched an open-ended counterintelligence operation against those in Trump's orbit.
We also know that opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton was used by the FBI to justify surveilling the Trump campaign - while new facts point to a multi-pronged campaign of espionage and deceit spanning several continents, governments and agencies which was deployed at the highest levels in an effort to undermine Donald Trump before and after the 2016 U.S. election.
Some have also suggested (Paul Sperry to be exact) that Cambridge professor and FBI "informant" (spy) Stefan Halper, may have had a much larger role in the operation.
Did Stef Halper run a whole TEAM of informants for Strzok and FBI?— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) June 21, 2018
Halper is a longtime spook whose ex-father-in-law, Ray Cline, was the former chief Soviet analyst and Deputy Director of the CIA from 1962 - 1966. Halper also spied on the Carter campaign during the 1980 election for Reagan - whose Vice President was former CIA director George H.W. Bush (Ray Cline denied the spying took place).
From 2012 - 2017, the Pentagon under Obama awarded Halper over $1 million in "research" contracts - nearly half of which was awarded during the 2016 US election.
|Award ID||Recipient Name||Start Date||End Date||Amount||Awarding Agency|
|HQ003416P0148||HALPER, STEFAN||9/26/2016||3/29/2018||$411,575||Department of Defense|
|HQ003415C0100||HALPER, STEFAN||9/24/2015||9/27/2016||$244,960||Department of Defense|
|HQ003414C0076||HALPER, STEFAN||7/29/2014||7/31/2015||$204,000||Department of Defense|
|HQ003412C0039||HALPER, STEFAN||5/30/2012||5/29/2013||$197,626||Department of Defense|
Then there's the mysterious Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud - a key witness in the Mueller investigation who disappeared last fall, and who told Trump aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos would drunkenly repeat the rumor to seasoned Australian diplomat (and Clinton ally) Alexander Downer in a London Bar, only to be construed by the FBI as potential collusion in order to justify their counterintelligence operation against Trump.
And just Monday Trump advisor Roger Stone said that a second FBI informant, Henry Greenberg, tried to entrap the Trump campaign with an offer to sell dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million.
While the entire mosaic of events is multi-faceted and requires perhaps the world's biggest corkboard - here's a basic timeline of various espionage or other spycraft conducted against the Trump campaign.
April 26, 2016 - Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud - who told an Italian newspaper in November he's a member of the Clinton Foundation, passed a rumor to Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Papadopoulos’ statement of offense also detailed his April 26, 2016, meeting with Mifsud at a London hotel. Over breakfast Mifsud told Papadopoulos “he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian governmental officials.” Mifsud explained “that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton.” Mifsud told Papadopoulos “the Russians had emails of Clinton.” -The Federalist
May 10, 2016 - Papadopoulos tells this to former Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer during an alleged "drunken barroom admission."
Late May, 2016 - Roger Stone is approached by Greenberg with the $2 million offer for dirt on Clinton
July 2016 - FBI informant (spy) Stefan Halper meets with Trump campaign aide Carter Page for the first time, which would be one of many encounters.
July 31, 2016 - the FBI officially launches operation Crossfire Hurricane, the code name given to the counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign.
September, 2016 - Halper invites Papadopoulos to London, paying him $3,000 to work on an energy policy paper while wining and dining him at a 200-year-old private London club on September 15.
While the FBI has yet to find any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, they were able to use information Mifsud planted with Papadopoulos to launch a counterintelligence operation.
And as new facts and revelations continue to emerge, and IG Horowitz continues to unravel the FBI's counterintelligence operation on Donald Trump, several rank-and-file FBI employees say they want Congress to subpoena them so that they can step forward and testify against Comey and Andrew McCabe.
Funny - for two "innocent" people, Comey and Lynch want the exact opposite!