Gowdy: FBI Text From Fall 2016 Says Comey Planned to Update Obama on Investigation; Update Not Mentioned by Comey in Senate Testimony Last Year
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), appearing alongside Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) on the Fox News Channel program The Story with Martha MacCallum Monday night, spoke about an FBI text message that then-FBI Director James Comey “was going to update the President of the United States about an investigation.” Gowdy implied the message was from the Fall of 2016 but that he did not know if the update was about the Clinton or Trump investigations. However, Gowdy seemed to indicate it was about one or the other presidential candidates. Either way Gowdy said he found it “interesting” that Comey planned on updating President Barack Obama about an investigation.
The text was part of the the latest batch of an estimated 50,000 messages between Trump-hating FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who were engaged in an adulterous affair as they investigated President Donald Trump. Ratcliffe told MacCallum there was talk by the FBI couple of an anti-Trump “secret society” within the FBI and Justice Department (Link to report by TGP’s Cristina Laila).
“We learned today from information that in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a ‘secret society’ of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok to be working against him.”
The Inspector General recently discovered that the FBI lost five months worth of texts by Page and Strzok between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on June 8. | Getty (via Politico)
Gowdy’s suspicions appear to be correct as Comey did not disclose updating Obama in the Fall of 2016 about an investigation into either candiate when he testified before the Senate last year. Comey testified his direct interactions with Obama were rare.
Transcript of Gowdy’s comment Monday night (transcribed by Kristinn Taylor).
…And I saw an interesting text that Director Comey was going to update the President of the United States about an investigation. I don’t know if it was an Hillary Clinton investigation because that had been reopened in the fall of 2016 or whether it was the Trump investigation. I just find it interesting that the head of the FBI was gonna update the President of the United States who at that point would have been President Obama.”
Video clip posted by Fox News:
.@TGowdySC on 50,000+ new @FBI texts, possible 2nd special counsel appointed to investigate Mueller probe: "We saw more manifest bias against @POTUS all the way through the election into the transition." https://t.co/jTCsiBqaVi pic.twitter.com/CuyZKexf2s
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 23, 2018
Relevant transcript excerpts of Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017 in which he spoke about his rare interactions with President Obama (via Politico)
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): And so in all your experience, this was the only president that you felt like in every meeting you needed to document because at some point, using your words, he might put out a non-truthful representation of that meeting.
COMEY: That’s right, senator. As I said, as FBI director I interacted with President Obama, I spoke only twice in three years, and didn’t document it. When I was Deputy Attorney General I had a one one-on-one with President Bush been I sent an email to my staff but I didn’t feel with president bush the need to document it in that I way. Again, because of the combination of those factors, just wasn’t present with either President Bush or President Obama.
…SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH (D-NM): Mr. Comey, prior to January 27th of this year, have you ever had a one-on-one meeting or a private dinner with a president of the United States?
COMEY: No. Dinner, no. I had two one-on-ones with President Obama. One to talk about law enforcement issues, law enforcement and race, which was an important topic throughout for me and for the president. Then once very briefly for him to say goodbye.
HEINRICH: Were those brief interactions?
COMEY: No. The one about law enforcement and race and policing, we spoke for probably over an hour, just the two of us.
…HEINRICH: Did the president in any of those interactions that you’ve shared with us today ask you what you should be doing or what our government should be doing or the intelligence community to protect America against Russian interference in our election system?
COMEY: I don’t recall a conversation like that.
HEINRICH: Do you find it —
COMEY: Not with President Trump.
COMEY: I attended a fair number of meetings on that with President Obama.
…COTTON: You said you did not record your conversations with President Obama or President Bush in memos. Did you do so with Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other senior member of the trump Department of Justice?
COMEY: No. I think — I am sorry.
COTTON: Did you record conversations or memos with the attorney general or any other senior member of the Obama administration?
There is no mention in the testimony by Comey of him briefing President Obama about the Clinton or Trump investigations, only participating in meetings with Obama and others about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.