On 7th October 2016 Director James Clapper signed off on behalf of US intelligence a statement that spoke of the US Intelligence Community’s “confidence” that the Russian government was behind the DNC and Podesta leaks, and it was publishing these leaks via Wikileaks in order to influence the outcome of the US Presidential election.
On 10th October 2016 I published on The Duran an article in which I pointed out that the manipulative language used in this statement in fact proved that US intelligence does not have the evidence to support this claim.
I pointed out that the statement could therefore only be considered a statement of opinion, as opposed to a statement of fact, and I wondered – since it was a statement of opinion published by the US Intelligence Community concerning a criminal matter presumably under investigation by the police – what the relevant police agency – the FBI – thought of it.
These were my precise words:
“Moreover since the DNC hack is a criminal offence, it is a statement of opinion made about a matter which is presumably being investigated by the police.
The relevant police agency is presumably the FBI, which significantly is not a co-author of the statement.
That in turn begs a host of questions: has the FBI been shown the “evidence” upon which US intelligence expresses its opinion and has made the statement? Has it asked to see this “evidence”? Was it invited to co-author the statement? What does the FBI think of the public involvement of US intelligence in a domestic criminal matter which falls within the FBI’s exclusive competence?”
Thanks to the firestorm the Democrats have conjured up around FBI Director James Comey, leaks to the media have now provided answers to these questions.
The FBI was indeed invited to co-author the statement. It REFUSED to do so, which is why its name does NOT appear on the statement.
The spin the Democrats are putting behind this refusal is that though FBI Director Comey agreed with the view expressed in the statement – that the Russians were behind the DNC and Podesta leaks – he felt it was too close to the election to say that in a public statement.
The Democrats are trying to claim that this proves that Comey is applying double standards: that he objected to the release of the US Intelligence Community’s 7th October 2016 statement because it was too close to the election, whilst he himself released a few days ago – even closer to the election – his own statement informing Congress of the investigation of the email scandal.
It is possible to say confidently based on information which is already public that this is a total misrepresentation of what happened.
As I explained in my article for The Duran of 10th October 2016, US intelligence’s 7th October 2016 statement was a mere statement of opinion published precisely in order to influence the outcome of the Presidential election. Here is what I said about it in my article
“If the statement is merely a statement of opinion based on inference of which guesses about Russian “motivations” apparently form a major part, and one which moreover concerns a matter which is or ought to be the subject of investigation by the police and not therefore the subject of this sort of comment, why was it published at all?
The short answer is in order to help Hillary Clinton win the US Presidential election.
To that end the statement fulfils two purposes: firstly, it discredits the content of any leaks that might otherwise damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign by lending credence to her claim that they are part of a Russian ‘dirty tricks’ campaign against her; and secondly, it lends credence to the claim popularised by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and by Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the media that Donald Trump is Putin’s candidate and that Putin is trying to help him win the election.”
(bold italics added)
Given that the 7th October 2016 was a mere statement of opinion intended to influence the outcome of the election – and one which moreover pre empted the outcome of what is almost certainly an ongoing FBI investigation – FBI Director Comey was absolutely right to have nothing to do with it, even if he might personally believe that the opinion expressed in the statement is true.
By contrast the information FBI Director Comey gave in his letter to Congress about the FBI investigation of the emails found in Weiner’s computer, is a statement not of opinion but of fact. To be clear, Comey is not preempting the outcome of this investigation by expressing an opinion about it, he is merely informing Congress of the fact it is taking place.
The two statements are therefore completely different, and the double standard the Democrats claim to find in Comey’s behaviour does not exist.
In summary, the Democrats have now themselves provided confirmation of what I said in my article of 10th October 2016: the FBI refused to co-author the US Intelligence Community’s statement of 7th October 2016 because it is a mere statement of opinion made by the US Intelligence Community in order to influence the election outcome by helping Hillary Clinton win the election.
It is not FBI Director Comey who is in breach of the provisions of the Hatch Act of 1939, which forbids US officials or agencies acting in a way that is intended to influence the outcome of an election. By informing Congress of an ongoing FBI investigation, which is a matter of fact, in fulfilment of an earlier promise, he was simply doing his job.
By contrast we now know that in his capacity as the nation’s senior policeman, FBI Director Comey was – like us – also concerned that by putting out a statement of opinion intended to influence the election, the US Intelligence Community were inappropriately meddling in it, in a way that he clearly also thought might be a breach of the Hatch Act of 1939.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.