The FBI’s James Comey firing controversy gets down to the heart of the matter

Durham probe falls flat in courtroom but still exposes depth of FBI’s anti-Trump mania

WASHINGTON — For nearly a century, the FBI has taken a dim view of anyone who breaks with the status quo.

The director of the FBI, James Comey, was fired on his last day on the job in the wake of the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Comey had been under fire for months for his seemingly slow-to-open, and ultimately, closed, investigation into Clinton’s email use.

There were few, if any, surprises during Tuesday’s hearing of the James Comey firing controversy. The Justice Department defended its decision to fire Comey, and, in the end, the bureau didn’t really seem to be in the weeds: “Comey got bad information or bad information didn’t come to hand,” FBI director Andrew McCabe testified in front of the House panel. “It’s not one of the rare circumstances where bad information is the sole reason we terminate someone.”

But the hearing got down to the heart of the matter. What, exactly, happened when Comey fired off the letter on July 14 that was the catalyst for his political ouster, after the bureau had completed its investigation of Clinton’s private email server?

The Justice Department has refused to release the full, unredacted memos that it says show the reason behind the firing of Comey, citing federal law. Comey has refused to release the memos, and on Tuesday, Democrats on the House committee subpoenaed the department to release the documents in question.

In the end, the House committee was not allowed in the hearing room to see the documents the Justice Department said they did not possess, but the committee was able to get a glimpse of some of the evidence the FBI has been ordered to hand over. Among documents the committee requested were memos which Comey sent to McCabe, his deputy Bob Mueller, and his friend and former colleague, Lisa Page.

The committee’s ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff told reporters after the hearing he was hoping to get information from Comey about events at the FBI’s headquarters in Washington. “We will follow up on these issues in due course,” Schiff said.

“As you know, if you ever look at the Justice Department, the FBI, the Department of Justice, you get a very different story,” Schiff

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