Cornyn on Comey-J Edgar Hoover Comparisons: Comey Aided in Creation of a Culture the FBI Was Accountable to No One

Saturday on MSNBC’s “Hugh Hewitt,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) weighed in on the FBI’s handling of its counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 presidential election under former FBI Director James Comey’s leadership.

When asked by host Hugh Hewitt if the agency had lapsed back into a culture that existed under one of Comey’s predecessors, J. Edgar Hoover, Cornyn replied that Comey had allowed for the creation of a “culture” within the FBI accountable to no one.

Partial transcript as follows:

HEWITT: Now Senator, you’ve been a trial judge, you’ve been a Texas Supreme Court justice. You’ve been the Texas Attorney General. Can you explain for us the difference between a “confidential informant” and a spy?

CORNYN: Well, it’s, you really can’t. I mean, a spy is typically, I think of in terms of foreign powers. But here, the FBI was involved in a counterintelligence investigation, I presume, and used somebody who had contacted various subjects of their investigation to communicate back to the FBI what they found out. I guess for all practical purposes, for most people, it wouldn’t be any different.

HEWITT: All right, now it’s a time of great controversy for the FBI, which I’ve always held in the highest esteem. I worked with them when I was at DOJ. And you’ve got Director Comey, his reputation’s in tatters in the eyes of many people. You’ve got Andrew McCabe referred to the DOJ for prosecution. He’s got his admirers as well. You’ve got Page and Strzok and their texts. You’ve got Bruce Ohr over at the DOJ. You will remember, you’re my age, so you will remember just reading about the dark days of COINTELPRO and J. Edgar Hoover. Are we back in those dark days?

CORNYN: Right. Well, unfortunately, I think Director Comey helped create a culture at the FBI that they were accountable to no one. And unfortunately, that created, I believe, this situation we find ourselves with. Director Wray, I have to tell you, I think is doing an outstanding job. But it’s going to be a long time before the reputation of the FBI regains its reputation as a law enforcement organization that has integrity and is above politics.

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