A government watchdog group released new emails on Thursday that revealed former FBI Director James Comey seemingly coordinated his testimony last year before the Senate Intelligence Committee with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Top-level FBI officials advised Comey to "consult" with Mueller before testifying in front of any congressional committees regarding the Trump administration firing him as FBI director and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Journalist Sara Carter notes:
It is the first time evidence reveals there was coordination between the Special Counsel and Comey in the long drawn out controversial Mueller investigation.
Shortly after Comey was fired, his then-Chief of Staff James Rybicki sent an email to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich, former FBI General Counsel James A. Baker, and others that said:
Please see a DRAFT response to Director Comey (below). I will hold pending further direction….
In response to your emails below we have consulted with executive management here, including the General Counsel, and recommend the following:
- That your counsel convey any acceptance or declinations to invitations to testify directly to the Committees.
- That your counsel consult with Special Counsel Mueller to determine the timing of any such testimony and,
- The Office of General Counsel stands ready to discuss with you in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel, institutional privileges or prerogatives that may be presented by any such testimony.
Judicial Watch reported that sources have indicated that Comey's "opening statement and subsequent testimony were coordinated with Mueller."
Comey revealed at the hearing that he intentionally leaked his memos that allegedly documented his interactions with Trump, which contained classified information so that a special counsel would be appointed.
"I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter," Comey said during his testimony. "Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it."
Weighing in on the newly-released emails, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton slammed Comey for his actions.
"These documents show that James Comey, who was fired by the president, nevertheless had easy, friendly access to the FBI as he prepped his infamous anti-Trump testimony to the Senate," Fitton said. "This collusion led to Comey’s attacking President Trump and misusing FBI records as part of a vendetta against the president."