Fired FBI Director James Comey told Congressional investigators he would “bet his life” that special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election “the right way.”
“There are not many things I would bet my life on,” Comey told House Republicans in a closed-door testimony when asked if the Russia probe was being conducted with integrity. “I would bet my life that Bob Mueller will do things the right way, the way we would all want, whether we’re Republicans or Democrats, the way Americans should want.”
Comey’s remarks came to light after House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) released a 235-page transcript of the longtime deep-stater’s testimony.
With House Democrats set to take power in January, Comey’s testimony is among the final opportunities Republicans will have to question the former FBI director as part of their investigation into the Justice Department’s decision-making during the 2016 presidential election.
While Comey offered high praise for Mueller, the former law enforcement official denied the two are “best friends,” as President Donald Trump previously alleged. “I admire the heck out of the man, but I don’t know his phone number, I’ve never been to his house, I don’t know his children’s names,” Comey told lawmakers.
Several Republican investigators came away frustrated with Comey’s testimony, telling reporters that the longtime law enforcement official fired by President Trump in May 2017 was “instructed” by his lawyers not to answer questions concerning the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information and the anti-Trump Steele dossier.
“One of the disappointments of this deposition so far has been the amount of times in which the FBI believes that Congress doesn’t have a right to know,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told reporters outside Comey’s testimony. “The Department of Justice is going to have to agree to allow him to come back and answer a great many questions that currently he is not answering.”
Among the eyebrow-raising moments during the testimony, Comey admitting that the dossier, compiled by longtime British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, was not only largely unverified before it was used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but remained uncorroborated even around the time he was fired.
Comey told lawmakers that the dossier “was coming to us from a reliable source with a track record, and it’s an important thing when you’re seeking a PC warrant.”
“But what I understand by verified is we then try to replicate the source information so that it becomes FBI investigation and our conclusions rather than a reliable source’s,” he told Republicans. “That’s what I understand it, the difference to be. And that work wasn’t completed by the time I left in May of 2017, to my knowledge.”
Comey has agreed to partake in a second round of questioning on December 17.