Former FBI Director James Comey gave a radio interview to Los Angeles radio station KNX 1070-AM after the New York Times outlined FBI spies used in the 2016 election. When questioned about the FBI using intelligence assets to engage with Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos, Comey replied:
“Really? What would you have the FBI do? We discover in the middle of June of 2016 that the Russians were engaged in a massive effort to mess with this democracy to interfere in the election. We’re focused on that and at the end of July we learn that a Trump campaign adviser — two months earlier, before any of this was public — had talked to a Russian representative about the fact that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton and wanted to arrange to share it with the Trump campaign.”
What Comey is describing there is “Russian representative” Joseph Mifsud talking to George Papadopoulos. Mifsud allegedly told Trump aide George Papadopoulos in April 2016 that Russia had “thousands” of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
On May 6th, 2016, some unknown intelligence apparatus ran an operation using Australian aide to Ambassador Downer, Erika Thompson, to interview Papadopoulos; and on May 10th, Ambassador Downer interviewed Papadopoulos and recorded their contact.
Later, in July 2016, the May 6th meeting with Thompson was used by FBI Agent Peter Strzok to write an Electronic Communication memo, transferred from CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey, opening Crossfire Hurricane on July 31st.
It is worth remembering from a recent court filing by the FBI we are now aware that James Comey documented each intelligence decision in a series of multiple CYA memos that remain hidden. An additional court filing originally scheduled for April 15th, to determine the outcome of those memos, has been delayed until May 7th (next week).
The trail to understand the scale of the Comey memos surfaced as part of the FOIA case (Backstory Here) where DC Court Judge James E. Boasberg -an Obama appointee and also a FISA judge- asked the FBI to file an opinion about the release of Comey memos to the public. There were two issues: (1) can the memos be released? and (2) can prior sealed FBI filings, arguing to keep the memos hidden, be released?
In a very revealing filing April 8th, 2019, (full pdf below) the lead FBI investigator for the Mueller special counsel, David W. Archey, informed the court that with the ending of the special counsel some of the memo material can be released, such as their existence; however, Archey also stated much of the memo content and sealed background material from the FBI must continue to remain sealed and redacted.
Within the filing we discover the lead FBI agent was David W. Archey (background here). Archey was selected by Robert Mueller when the special counsel took over the counterintelligence investigation from Special Agent Peter Strzok. According to ABC: “Agent David Archey is described by colleagues as a utility man of sorts within the FBI”. However, until now his exact role was not known.
Following the conclusion of the Mueller probe, David Archey was moved. Effective March 8, 2019, Archey became head of the Richmond, VA, FBI field office. (link) Due to the corrupt nature of the special counsel, this is somewhat concerning. I digress…
The first three pages of the filing consist of David Archey explaining to the court that some of the material can be released, but other material must be withheld. He then goes on to reference two prior sealed attachments outlined as “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B”.
“Exhibit A” is a filing from the FBI on January 31st, 2018, essentially supporting an earlier “in camera ex parte declaration” requesting continuance of a prior court order to keep the background material sealed from public view. In essence, the FBI didn’t want the public to know what was/is contained within the Comey memos (including the scale thereof).
“Exhibit B” is where the action is.
This is the original declaration outlining to the court on October 13th, 2017, why the Comey memos must be sealed. It is inside this exhibit where we discover there are many more memos than previously understood, and the content of those memos is far more exhaustive because James Comey documented the FBI investigation.
In essence Comey created these memos to cover his ass. (pg 13):
FBI Agent Archey then goes on to explain what is inside the memos: It is in this section where we discover that Comey made notes of multiple meetings and conversations with investigators.
Along with writing notes of the meetings and conversations, apparently Comey also made notes of the sources and methods associated with the investigation. Why would Comey generate classified information in these notes (sources and methods) unless he was just covering his ass because he knew the investigation itself was a risk?
The content of the memos seems rather exhaustive; it appears Comey is keeping a diary for use in the event this operation went sideways. (page #14, exhibit B)
All of those investigative elements would likely be contained in official FBI files and notes by the investigative agents. There is no need for a contemporaneous personal account of meeting content unless Comey was constructing memos for his own protection. These memos appear to be motivated by the same mindset that caused Susan Rice to generate her email to self on inauguration day.
In the next section FBI Agent David Archey explains the scale of the memos. There are obviously far more than previously discussed or disclosed publicly. Additionally, look carefully at the way the second part is worded.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/04/2019)