Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) confronted James Comey on Wednesday, asserting the former FBI director was “corrupt” and led a purposely disingenuous investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016.
Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to answer questions regarding his conduct and the conduct of other FBI officials during the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. The investigation launched in 2016 and culminated with the report of ex-special counsel Robert Mueller, of which a redacted version was released to the public in April 2019.
The Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigated the origins of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign. The FBI operation, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” was launched and furthered on dubious grounds as the inspector general found 17 “significant errors” in FBI requests to federal courts for secret warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Cruz slammed Comey, accusing him of corruption and deliberately targeting the Trump campaign with an unfounded investigation.
“This investigation of the president was corrupt. The FBI and the Department of Justice were politicized and weaponized, and, in my opinion, there are only two possibilities: that you were deliberately corrupt or woefully incompetent—and I don’t believe you were incompetent,” Cruz said at the end of his questioning. “This has done severe damage to the professionals and the honorable men and women at the FBI because law enforcement should not be used as a political weapon, and that is the legacy you’ve left.”
Sen. Ted Cruz to Comey:
“This has done severe damage to the professionals and the honorable men and women at the FBI because law enforcement should not be used a political weapon. That is the legacy you’ve left.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 30, 2020
Earlier in his questioning, Cruz cited the Horowitz report and accused the FBI of purposefully lying to the FISA courts. The senator recounted one of the 17 “significant errors” in which a DOJ attorney reportedly edited an email from the CIA to say the opposite of what it originally stated.
“Mr. Comey, let’s go directly to lies. The inspector general report concluded that Mr. Clinesmith, an attorney who worked for you in the FBI, deliberately altered an email,” Cruz said. “He had emailed the CIA to ask if [Trump campaign aid] Carter Page was a source. The CIA came back and said yes, he was a source, and Mr. Clinesmith—your lawyer—altered that email to add the words ‘not a source’ to make the email say precisely the opposite of what the CIA said.”
“That fraudulent document was then used as a basis for a fraudulent submission to the FISA court. You believe that is honest and competent, Mr. Comey?” Cruz asked after Comey said moments before that the FBI had “overall” acted in a “honest, competent, and independent way.”
“I don’t believe you’ve offered an accurate summary of Horowitz’s findings,” Comey responded.
Comey agreed to testify on Wednesday as part of an investigation by Senate Republicans to get to the bottom of how Crossfire Hurricane began and continued to hound President Trump in his opening days and well into his presidency. Numerous political pundits, members of the media, lawmakers, and prominent figures such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continue to push the allegation that Trump may have coordinated with the Russians to influence the 2016 election.