Mr. Comey, Did Any Other Country Attempt to Influence the 2016 Election?

The House Judiciary Committee has released the transcript of the second day of its recent interview with James Comey. It’s available here. I found the following exchange which begins on p. 160 interesting. (Mr. [ ] is a representative of the FBI whose name has been redacted by the Committee.)

Chairman Goodlatte. Mr. Comey did any country other than Russia attempt to influence the 2016 election?

[Discussion off the record.]

Mr. Comey. I don’t think I can answer that, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Goodlatte. And what’s the reason?

Mr. Comey. I believe that’s across the line the FBI told me to steer — stay on one side of.

Chairman Goodlatte. We need a reason why the FBI told you to steer clear of that.

Mr. [ ]. First, I think it is impacting the Special Counsel’s Office purview; and, second of all, if you’re going so far as to ask who were those investigations may be on, we —

Chairman Goodlatte. I haven’t asked that yet.

Mr. [ ]. I understand that. I just don’t want the witness to blurt something out either.

Chairman Goodlatte. He doesn’t seem disposed to blurt things out. He can answer a straightforward question of, did any country other than Russia attempt to influence the 2016 election?

Mr. Comey. So I can give you this answer. One of the things I don’t want to do is give adversaries — we’re in an unclassified setting — an idea of what we didn’t know as well as know, so the answer would be I believe so — nations other than Russia.

Chairman Goodlatte. Did the FBI have any evidence that another country was attempting to influence Hillary Clinton or hermPresidential campaign?

Mr. Comey. Mr. Chairman, I want to be careful answering that question because, again, I don’t want to give — a negative answer or a positive answer will give information to an adversary that I don’t want to give them, and so I’m sure the FBI maybe could arrange for a briefing of you on that, sir, but I don’t think I can responsibly answer that in an open setting.


5 thoughts on “Mr. Comey, Did Any Other Country Attempt to Influence the 2016 Election?

  1. Comey’s “adversary” always was, and continues to be Trump. He is splitting hairs constantly to avoid admitting that.

  2. If you answer it as a yes or no question, I don’t think any country would know what we know, because it could plausibly not be about them. There are a lot of countries out there. It is inevitable that to a certain degree that several would try to have a certain level of impact. I remember a journalist arguing a few years ago that everyone everywhere should be allowed to vote for the US president because it was “so important.” It is plausible that in the various houses of power, that thought was also had, and they considered various means of having their voices heard.

    Leaving other things alone, simply mentioning before the election, “X is someone I think I can work with.” would have some level of influence.

  3. Yeah. It’s a reasonable question to ask, but it’s definately beyond the scope of what someone can be an authority on, without specific evidence. And I can certainly see someone being asked to not comment on that subject, regardless if he had specific knowledge or not.

    I also would kinda like to know if there were any other influences as well, other than the ones by the Russians… but those will come out in the end.

    @Al the fish.
    I’m also curious as to how Comey’s adversary could have always been Trump, considering he worked for Trump as a lawyer and fixer for what, twelve years? I think his first and last allegiance is to his own skin, like most of the other sleazeballs the President chose to surround himself with.

    • I think you may be mixing up “Cohen” with “Comey”. Comey was in before Trump (circa 2013), so the President didn’t pick and choose that sleazeball.

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