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A Giant List Of Questions The House Needs To Ask James Comey In His Deposition

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06.12.2018

Former FBI director James Comey will be deposed Friday in a closed-door session by the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees as part of their joint investigation into decisions the Department of Justice made in 2016. Comey had filed suit to quash the congressional subpoena, but following an ominous hearing before a federal judge last week, Comey agreed to appear Friday morning. The House in turn assured Comey that he could discuss the hearing upon its conclusion and that a transcript would be issued within 24 hours.

Hopefully the lack of a live audience will allow the congressmen to focus on fact-finding and not grandstanding. And there are many facts still to be revealed — and of which Comey holds the answers — concerning both the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a homebrew server and the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The latter, though, demands the committees’ most ardent focus because, if left unexposed and uncorrected, the weaponizing of the DOJ and FBI for political purposes, and the abuse of the intelligence community and FISA court system, threaten the very integrity of our justice system and our democracy. While the public to some extent, and the House and Senate committees to a greater extent, now know some of the unsavory details surrounding what, for simplicity’s sake, the moniker Spygate best encapsulates, many more questions demand answers.

Here’s a catalogue of inquiries for the committees to pursue.

Before quizzing Comey on the nitty-gritty details, the committees need to first find out the players involved, both inside and outside our government. Some of the players are familiar — Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Andrew McCabe. But who else was involved in the run-up to the official launch of Crossfire Hurricane, the decision to initiate that probe into the Trump campaign, and the actual investigation?

The committees should start broadly and ask Comey to identify “the who” involved in the investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump campaign. They should tell the former FBI director that Congress needs his help:

After setting the stage for the committees’ first goal — identifying “the who” — those questioning Comey should begin with the organizations with a known connection to Spygate. Comey should then be asked on the record whether he knew of, or heard of (it is entirely permissible to ask for hearsay in depositions) any involvement by the organizations or the specific individuals. The committees should save the open-ended narrative for the end and walk Comey through each organization, coming prepared with a flow-chart identifying the various players and organizational structures.

The questions should begin with Comey’s own FBI, and the known quantities, such as Andrew McCabe, Bill Priestab, James Baker, Strzok, and Lisa Page. But other players appear on the periphery, as identified in Jeff Carlson’s article for The Epoch Times.

Comey should also be asked to identify any known sources or informants, whether paid or unpaid, as well as to disclose whether any anonymous sources provided the FBI information. Christopher Steele, Stefan Halper, and Joseph Mifsud come to mind, but are there others? Then Comey should be asked whether any other individuals connected to the FBI were possibly involved in, or have knowledge of the probe into Trump, his family, his campaign, or his supporters.

From there, the committees should move on to the other known governmental players involved, before concluding with the open-ended follow-up asking if anyone else connected to those agencies or organizations was involved in or has information related to Spygate.

Specifically, the committee should inquire about the involvement of the DOJ (Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr, Rod Rosenstein, and Andrew Weissmann), the State Department (John Kerry, Victoria Nuland, Jonathan Winer, and Elizabeth Dibble), the CIA (John Brennan), the National Intelligence Services (James Clapper), the congressional offices (Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, the late Republican Sen. John McCain, and Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Mark Warner). Comey should also be asked about any involvement of, or knowledge by, Obama administration officials (Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes, Denis McDonough, and Shailagh Murray), and former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

After having Comey identify all the U.S. government actors, the committees should move on to foreign governments’ involvement, following the same format: Comey should be asked whether he knows of, or heard of, the involvement of any foreign governments, including foreign assets, informants, or confidential sources. Here the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Italian governments, the British and Italian intelligence agencies, and Sir Andrew Wood, Sir Richard Dearlove, and Alexander Downer, are of special interest.

Finally, Comey should be questioned on the involvement of private organizations or individuals with the government’s investigation into Trump and the Trump campaign, by, for instance serving as government contractors, sharing information with investigators, or receiving and publishing leaks from the........

© The Federalist