You may recall how in July of 2016, former FBI director James Comey announced that there would be no prosecution against Hillary Clinton for sending and receiving classified email on her private server.
Now, it’s clear that he may have had his own personal reason for making that decision.
From NY Post:
Fired FBI chief James Comey used his private Gmail account hundreds of times to conduct government business — and at least seven of those messages were deemed so sensitive by the Justice Department that they declined to release them.
The former top G-man repeatedly claimed he only used his private account for “incidental” purposes and never for anything that was classified — and that appears to be true.
But Justice acknowledged in response to a Freedom of Information request that Comey and his chief of staff discussed government business on about 1,200 pages of messages, 156 of which were obtained by The Post.
The Cause of Action Institute, a conservative watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit for Comey’s Gmail correspondence involving his work for the bureau.
The Justice Department responded that there were an eye-popping 1,200 pages of messages for Comey and his chief of staff that met the criteria.
The emails show that Comey used personal email while he was investigating Clinton and even talked about the investigation.
He even appeared to recognize his own hypocrisy.
In one email on Oct. 7, 2015, Comey seems to recognize the hypocrisy of the FBI investigating Hillary Clinton’s email practices while he’s exchanging FBI info on his own private account because his government account was down.
Two days after complaining that his “mobile is not sending emails,” Comey asked an aide that the testimony he was to deliver to the Senate be sent on his private account — calling it an “embarrassing” situation.
“He [aide] will need to send to personal email I suppose,” Comey wrote. “Embarrassing for us.”
The DOJ turned over 156 of the emails, but refused to turn over 7 moore which they deemed would, “disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.”
So while it may not have been classified, they were obviously sensitive and the use wasn’t “incidental” if there were 1200 pages of related messages.
Lisa Rosenberg of Open Government said it clearly showed Comey was operating under a double standard.
The inspector general at Justice previously slammed Comey for using his personal account for FBI business, saying it was “inconsistent” with government policy. But Comey claimed his private email use was “incidental” and only used for word processing a “public speech or public email.” He said he wasn’t sending “anything remotely classified” on Gmail and that his use was “a totally different thing” from Clinton’s.
Experts told The Post there was a clear disconnect between what Comey said he was using his personal email for and what the Justice Department concluded he was doing after vetting his emails.
If the Justice Department accurately withheld his emails for the legal reasons cited, Comey would have been talking about substantive government business and active law enforcement matters.
“He can’t have it both ways,” Rosenberg said.
“Either he used his personal email for things that were public or would be in the public domain, or he used it to discuss internal policies, investigations, etc. that might or might not be appropriately withheld under FOIA.”
Cause of Action blasted Comey for being misleading during the IG investigation.
“Using private email to conduct official government business endangers transparency and accountability, and that is why we sued the Department of Justice,” said John Vecchione.
“We’re deeply concerned that the FBI withheld numerous emails citing FOIA’s law enforcement exemption. This runs counter to Comey’s statements that his use of email was incidental and never involved any sensitive matters.”
The news did not go over well.