Another interesting contradiction from the pre-released James Comey congressional opening testimony statement surrounds a part of his explanation for not informing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, about the content of a February 14th oval office discussion with President Trump about Mike Flynn, against the backdrop of the timing.
Consider the Timeline:
- February 8th – AG Jeff Sessions confirmed
- February 14th – Comey meets with President Trump (oval office above)
- March 1st – AG Sessions and Ambassador Kislyak controversy begins. (link)
- March 2nd – Sessions recuses himself from the Russian Investigation. (link)
See the problem? At the time outlined by FBI Director James Comey, February 14th, there was nothing to indicate Attorney General Jeff Sessions would recuse himself.
Why, on February 14th, would the FBI leadership team and James Comey be saying:
“we concluded it made little sense to report it to AG sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in the Russia-related investigations”
…when it wasn’t until more than two weeks later that the entire reason, the origin for the recusal consideration itself, became known – March 1st.
Obviously this current statement was written by James Comey post-facto with a paramount need to justify the action taken by himself the team that was conducting the counterintelligence investigation.
However, that said, unless the FBI leadership team also carried some psychic skill at looking into the future there’s no way they could have known on February 14th that Jeff Sessions would recuse himself on March 2nd.
Unless, the counterintelligence surveillance was targeting Russian Ambassador Kislyak (not unexpected given the nature of their wide-net surveillance construct), and the unmasking they were currently utilizing gave them some insight or information on the September ’16 meeting that ultimately led to AG Sessions decision to recuse himself.
That possibility, albeit a stretch trying to reconcile the irreconcilable, leads to a need for a review of the original WaPo article that kicked off the entire Sessions/ Kislyak controversy:
Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.
The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself. (link)
Unless the vaguely outlined “FBI leadership team“, as described by Comey, had some knowledge of the Kislyak controversy in advance of the actual controversy surfacing there’s no reasonable way they could have known on February 14th that Jeff Sessions would be in a position to recuse himself on March 2nd.
And if they did have foreknowledge on February 14th of the need for recusal, then the strongest likelihood exists that existing or recently dispatched political agents within the counterintelligence investigation [DOJ (Yates) or FBI (McCabe/Comey)] were the source for the WaPo leak based on their exclusive surveillance knowledge.
Sketchy, all the way around.
The most likely scenario, the Occam’s Razor per se’, is that James Comey never told Jeff Sessions on February 14th about his concerns that stemmed from the meeting because:
A.) He didn’t have any concerns because there was nothing to be concerned about.
B.) Because Comey believed Sessions would most likely tell the President.
Those more simple explanations highlight how political James Comey was. Given how this statement was written well after the fact, option “A” is more likely than “B”.
Bottom line, there’s no way Comey could have known on February 14th that Sessions would recuse himself unless Comey’s team were constructing the narrative that would lead to the recusal.