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Comey says he ‘can’t imagine’ he’s a target of Durham probe

Chuck Ross on August 24, 2020

Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday that he has not had contact with the federal prosecutor investigating the bureau’s probe of the Trump campaign, but that he “can’t imagine” that he’s a target of a criminal inquiry.

“Given that I know what happened during 2016, which was a bunch of people trying to do the right thing consistent with the law, I’m not worried at all about that investigation of the investigation,” Comey said in an interview Sunday on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”

“They just want to have an investigation to talk about,” he said.

A former FBI attorney pleaded guilty to federal charges on Wednesday in the investigation, undercutting Comey’s claim that the Crossfire Hurricane team was stacked with “a bunch of people trying to do the right thing.”

Kevin Clinesmith, who worked in the FBI general counsel’s office, admitted that he altered a June 2017 email to say that former Trump aide Carter Page was “not a source” for the CIA. Page had been an operational contact for the CIA through 2013.

A Justice Department inspector general’s report blasted the FBI for a series of “significant” errors and omissions in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders against Page.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading the investigation, interviewed former CIA Director John Brennan about the spy agency’s intelligence-gathering activities prior to the 2016 election, as well as its role in crafting an Intelligence Community Assessment regarding Russian interference in the election.

An adviser to Brennan said that Durham told him he was a witness and not a target of the investigation.

Comey said that he had “no idea” whether he was a witness, subject or target of Durham’s probe.

“I have no contact with him and haven’t talked with him,” said Comey, adding, “I can’t imagine that I’m a target.”

Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, is conducting a sprawling investigation into the FBI’s surveillance of Trump associates and the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, the name of the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.

Attorney General William Barr, who appointed Durham to lead the investigation, has said that the prosecutor is also looking into whether Russian intelligence operatives fed disinformation to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote a dossier alleging that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.

Several major allegations in the dossier have either been debunked or remain uncorroborated.

The New York Times reported in January that federal prosecutors were investigating whether Comey was involved in a leak of classified information to journalists regarding a Russian disinformation effort that targeted former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The status of the investigation is unclear, and it is not known whether Durham is involved in that inquiry.

The Justice Department inspector general’s referred Comey to federal prosecutors for potential prosecution over the handling of memos he wrote following conversations with President Donald Trump in 2017, but the government declined to pursue the case.

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