Trump Tries to Smear Comey As Russia Investigation Heats Up
President Donald Trump tried to smear former FBI Director James Corey as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia heats up.
According to The Daily Beast, Mueller is working with an IRS unit that focuses “exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering.” Mueller is also working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which is a problem for Trump who cannot issue pardons for state-level convictions.
Trump tweeted about Comey on Sept. 1: “Wow, looks like James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton long before the investigation was over…and so much more. A rigged system!”
Trump failed to note that the Attorney General actually decides whether or not to charge people, not the FBI Director.
Trump was referring to a joint statement issued on Aug. 31 by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about transcripts that indicate Comey drafted a statement about not recommending charges against Hillary Clinton more than two months before the investigation into her emails was closed in July 2016.
A person familiar with the matter pushed back on the notion that Comey had already reached a conclusion that affected the investigation.
The person said back in spring 2016, agents and Justice Department officials were talking about how the investigation would end and there was a belief that the evidence was going in a direction to not support bringing charges.
This individual said by April 2016 the FBI had reviewed most of the evidence and didn’t find evidence suggesting that Clinton had violated federal law. The person said the FBI wanted to interview her but didn’t believe it was going to change the outcome.
The source also said Comey was not involved in the day-to-day steps of the investigation, so even if he reached a conclusion it wouldn’t have affected the result of the investigation.
A second person familiar with the matter told CNN that Comey had not already made up his mind, and that it did not influence the investigation. The second source says the FBI had already reviewed much of the evidence by spring and it was becoming more clear that it was not likely to support bringing charges.