Former FBI chief James Comey has turned on a man he once considered his “brother in arms” after Mueller did not charge President Trump with obstruction of justice.
Now, Comey finds Mueller not charging Trump “confusing.”
Meanwhile, Comey has been under fire ever since the bombshell revelation of Lisa Page that the Obama DOJ, led by Loretta Lynch essentially instructed Comey’s FBI to NOT indict Hillary Clinton, undermining Comey’s independence in the Hillary investigation.
Lindsey Graham and others have called for an investigation into the Obama era DOJ and FBI.
“The part that’s confusing is, I can’t quite understand what’s going on with the obstruction stuff,” Mr. Comey told his audience at the Belk Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to an NBC News report.
Instead, Mr. Mueller’s nonrecommendation on obstruction, unlike his decision to exonerate Mr. Trump and his campaign of any collusion with Russians trying to affect the 2016 presidential election, put the decision in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, a political appointee who serves at the president’s pleasure.
“I just can’t tell from the letter why didn’t he decide these questions when the entire rationale for a special counsel is to make sure the politicals aren’t making the key charging decisions,” said the FBI ex-chief who started to oversee the Russia probe until Mr. Trump fired him in May 2017.
Mr. Comey also criticized Mr. Barr’s rationale for not charging the president on obstruction — essentially that while Mr. Trump did some things that might be considered obstruction in other contexts, there was no obstruction of justice here because there was no collusion to investigate.
“The notion that obstruction cases are somehow undermined by the absence of proof of an underlying crime, that is not my experience in 40 years of doing this nor is it the Department of Justice’s tradition. Obstruction crimes matter without regard to what you prove about the underlying crime,” he said.
Mr. Comey did a straddling job himself though, on the matter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server to handle classified information, the investigation of which he oversaw as FBI chief.
In his final report, he declined to recommend charges be brought — a decision that always would have been made by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch anyway. But he vigorously criticized Mrs. Clinton’s conduct, as reckless and said part of the reason she didn’t commit a crime was that she was too ignorant of technology to know what she was doing
On Sunday, Mr. Barr issued a four-page letter summarizing the report that Mr. Mueller had sent to him two days previous, wrapping up his investigation. But did not publicly release the actual report, and Mr. Comey said in Tuesday’s speech that he had only read Mr. Barr’s letter.