FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 3, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON...
JIM WATSON

FBI’s Comey faces fresh controversy following dubious sworn testimony

Updated
When FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill last week, he remained on the defense over his controversial role in the 2016 presidential campaign. But as part of the same hearing, Comey, a Republican appointed to his post by President Obama, also offered some catnip to those who care about Huma Abedin emails that were on Anthony Weiner’s computer.

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said, adding, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him I think to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the secretary of state.” The FBI director went on to say Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information.”

The usual suspects treated this like a major revelation, but ProPublica reports that Comey’s claims were apparently wrong.
Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.

FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.
According to the report, Comey overstated the number of emails, the frequency of the practice, and even how the emails reached Weiner’s laptop.

A Washington Post report added, “None of the forwarded emails were marked classified, but a small number – a handful, one person said – contained information that was later judged to contain classified information, these people said.

In other words, Comey was given an opportunity to explain his late-October intervention in the presidential election – a decision that played an important role in elevating Donald Trump to the White House – and his testimony included a variety of key details that now appear to be wrong.

Comey’s reputation was severely tarnished by his actions last fall. This won’t help.