Disturbing new reports have just revealed that then-FBI Director James Comey held a secret Oval Office meeting with then-President Barack Obama two weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The Daily Caller reported that this was revealed in an email sent by National Security Advisor Susan Rice that GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham partially unclassified. The email also indicates that Comey may have purposely misled Congress about the secret meeting.
The meeting, which Comey never disclosed to Congress, took place in the White House on Jan. 5, 2017. This meeting included Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Rice deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and Comey, and the group reportedly discussed potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Since he never mentioned this meeting to the Senate Select in his June 8, 2017, testimony, Comey may have intentionally misled Congress about his interactions with the former president. This is particularly disturbing given the fact that this meeting happened so close to Trump entering the White House.
“President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office,” Rice wrote in an email written the day before Trump’s inauguration.
Grassley/Graham release a partially redacted email sent by Susan Rice to herself on Jan. 20, 2017 — 15 minutes after Trump took office — detailing a Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting w Obama about Russian hacking: pic.twitter.com/QRnYTmOfXF
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) February 12, 2018
During his sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June of 2017, Comey claimed that he only met with the Obama twice, once in 2015 and another “to say goodbye in late 2016.
“I spoke alone with President Obama twice in person (and never on the phone) – once in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in late 2016,” Comey said in his opening statement.
Grassley and Graham wrote on their websites that they “were struck by the context and timing of this email, and sent a follow up letter to Ambassador Rice.”
“It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation,” the two senators told Rice. “In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed ‘by the book,’ substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed ‘by the book.'”
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