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miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018

Report: Barack Obama met with James Comey right before Trump inauguration

An oddly-worded, newly-released email that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote to herself revealed two things that are potentially damaging to the Obama administration.

One, that Rice assumed her former role of rewriting history for the Obama administration one last time; and two, that former FBI Director Comey lied about not having met with former President Obama about the agency’s probe into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.

“By the book”

The email, dated January 20, 2017 — 15 minutes after President Donald Trump was sworn into office — referred to a White House meeting that took place January 5th. Participants included then-President Barack Obama, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Vice President Joe Biden along with Rice and Comey. Both the timing and the self-serving language in the email made it highly suspect.

Fox News reported that one source familiar with the meeting says the conversation “was solely focused on whether the intelligence community and the FBI needed to be careful about what Russia conversations they had with the Trump transition team.”

The email was partially declassified and released by Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,’ ” Rice wrote, continuing:

The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.

From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.

The next section of the email is redacted.

Deceived Congress

Comey never informed Congress of the January 5 meeting — held just two weeks before the inauguration. Fox News reported:

In his opening statement at the time to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey downplayed his meetings with then-President Barack Obama, contrasting them with the numerous conversations he had with President Trump before his firing.

“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 written statement.

They want answers

After releasing the email, Grassley and Graham issued a letter demanding explanations from Rice:

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.’

During an appearance on Fox News Channel’s The Story With Martha MacCallum, Graham said, “We know the investigation regarding the Trump campaign was anything but ‘by the book.'”

Graham implied that the email could have been an effort by Obama to “get himself on the record through Susan Rice” about wanting the probe to be “by the book.” Graham said:

It’s the oddest thing in the world to send an email to yourself on Inauguration Day about a conversation held on January 5th. … Why should he have to say that to begin with?

He concluded that “when you look at what happened, it was an abuse of power, not ‘by the book.'” Watch Graham’s full comments below:

Add this to Rice’s record

Rice had been used by the Obama administration in the past to rewrite history, most notably to claim that the terrorist attack on the Benghazi, Libya U.S. diplomatic compound was prompted by a YouTube video.

She also claimed that former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his post in Afghanistan, served with “honor and distinction.” The Obama administration secured Bergdahl’s release from Taliban captivity in exchange for five Taliban terrorists.

Meanwhile, Comey has some explaining to do.