• Hillary Redux? Was James Comey Also Guilty of Illegally Using Private E-Mail for Government Business?

    Surge Summary: Was former FBI Director James Comey guilty, like Hillary, of using his private email account to conduct classified government business? One watchdog group says it appears so. 

    On Thursday morning, the Department of Justice released the long-awaited Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on fired FBI Director James Comey violations of policies with memos documenting private conversations with President Trump.

    While the mainstream news media is misrepresenting what’s contained in the report, Inspector General Horowitz confirmed that his office is still investigating the serious allegations of abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Department of Justice and the FBI in their attainment of warrants. Reports already released had revealed the affidavits submitted to FISA judges were based on what became known as the “dirty dossier.”

    In addition, a number of witnesses. who were for one reason or another fearful about speaking to investigators with the Inspector General’s office into Obama administration FISA abuses have since changed their minds and may provide additional information.

    “At least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI started cooperating — a breakthrough that came after Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the bureau’s 2016 Russia case that laid the foundation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.”

    Comey has told reporters and lawmakers that he had a private meeting with President Trump in order to give him a warning before his inauguration about “salacious” statements contained in the Fusion GPS Trump-Russia dossier, which former British MI6 spy Christopher Steele compiled while on the payroll of the DNC and Clinton campaign.

    “It was brought up privately, because the goal of the private session was to alert the incoming President to this piece of it that we thought was about to become public,” according to a statement he made to GOP House of Representatives’ Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

    Comey and the heads of the  intelligence community agencies, including then-CIA Director John Brennan and then-Director of National Intelligence Director James Clapper, both of whom admitted they despised Trump, gave an initial briefing to Trump about the findings of an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Comey agreed to have a private meeting with Trump afterwards to share the information from the dossier.

    The watchdog group, Cause of Action Institute, reported that it got the documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The lawsuit was initiated when the FBI and Department of Justice failed to comply with the original FOIA applications.

    The first of the FOIA document productions, the Comey email records, are just the start of uncovering the true nature and extent of Comey’s use of private email to conduct federal law enforcement business that put classified information at risk of being intercepted by hackers from other nations or crime gangs. Ironically, this is the exact charge made against former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when she served as Secretary of State. And she got off Scot-Free.

    “The problems associated with using personal email for government work are obvious, but those caught in the act often try to act as if they had no idea they were doing anything wrong or they justify their behavior as merely incidental,” stated CoA Institute officials in their report.

    CoA Institute first addressed the problems that resulted from government employees using private email for official business in a 2012 journal article: Gmail.gov: When Politics Gets Personal, Does the Public Have a Right to Know?

    In the years following the publication of that article, CoA Institute has revealed how upper-echelon government officials can use personal email accounts or messaging apps for government business to sidestep transparency and avoid legal or disciplinary action for transgressions.

    “Government overreach cannot be fought effectively if the process and enforcement are kept in the dark. That’s why CoA Institute is committed to holding the government accountable to transparency laws and has brought cases to uncover the private email use of officials such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and now, former FBI Director James Comey,” CoA Institute officials argue.

    Originally posted here.

    The views expressed here are the author’s and not necessarily those of Daily Surge.

    Image: Adapted from: Creative Commons. CC by 2.0; https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/22492551342

    Jim Kouri

    Conservative Base's editor, Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist,  and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show. He's the author of two books: "Crime Talk: Conversations with America's Top Law Enforcement Officers" and "Assume the Position: Police Science for Journalists and Screenwriters."

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