Op-Ed: “Five Explosive Facts about James Comey”

Comey recently testified to congress regarding FBI abuses in 2016 campaign. The key takeaways are that Comey provided few details that were not already known and appeared forgetful, replying ‘I don’t know,” “I can’t remember,” or “I don’t recall,” at least 236 times, according to the Judiciary committee.

Here are five facts about James Comey every American should know:

1. Comey’s net worth skyrocketed over 4,000 percent after working for a major spy contractor who paid him $6.1 million in a single year.

As Deputy Attorney General, Comey’s net worth was $206,000 in 2003. Shortly before leaving the DOJ, Comey conveniently pushed for changes to the surveillance rules (resulting in a legal “loophole”) and then found a lofty position in 2005 at Lockheed Martin. Comey amassed well over $10 million before he returned to government service in 2013.

2009 - Comey $6.1mn - SEC Definitive Proxy Statement (Def14a) copy
Comey worked at Lockheed Martin from 2005-2010. Comey earned over $10 million including untold millions in preferable stock options before returning to DOJ as FBI director.

2. Comey favors spying on Americans and has advocated mass surveillance for many years.

In his 2003 Senate confirmation hearing, Comey lauded the controversial use of warrantless domestic surveillance. Comey has time and again praised intrusive legislation like the PATRIOT Act and FISA, which allow intelligence agencies to obtain, collect, and store private citizens’ data, ostensibly to protect against terrorists (2003, 2004, June 2005, July 2005, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).

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2003 Confirmation Hearing of James Comey for DOJ Deputy Attorney General

 

3. Mueller’s FBI granted Comey’s private-sector employer multiple hundred-million-dollar contracts, including a $1 billion contract that has been called a “boondoggle.”

These contracts included a $425 million program called Sentinel and a controversial $1 billion biometric surveillance program called the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, which Lockheed developed using facial recognition technologies.

IBM protested the NGI award to Lockheed for undisclosed reasons and civil liberties groups have criticized it because the program compromises citizens’ privacy and is susceptible to a wide margin of error. Plagued by delays and cost overruns, numerous DOJ Inspector General audits criticized the Lockheed programs for their inestimable failures and the NGI program has been called “a $1 billion boondoggle.”

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Comey left DOJ and went to Lockheed Martin in 2005. Less than 1 year later, Mueller started sending massive contracts to pal Comey who signed off on the legality.

 

4. The section chief of the FBI’s surveillance unit warned Comey that warrantless spy programs are: (1.) a huge waste of time and money; (2.) ripe for potential abuses; and (3.) largely ineffective in catching terrorists. Comey ignored the warning and expanded the programs anyway.

In a 2018 interview, top-level FBI whistleblower Bassem Youssef emphasized that the expanded surveillance systems were vulnerable to severe abuse. He voiced these concerns to FBI Deputy Andrew McCabe in 2012, who attempted to silence criticisms of the programs and ignored Youssef’s warnings and recommendations. And when Youssef warned Comey in 2014 of potential system abuse, he was ignored yet again. Youssef also disclosed that only one terrorist plot was disrupted in the twelve years that his team conducted this surveillance.

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“After instructing the supervisors of my unit to conduct an exhaustive audit of the hundreds of thousands of leads generated since September 11, 2001, until the end of 2013, we determined that the program was credited with only one disruption since 9/11.” -FBI Whistleblower Bassem Youssef

 

5. Comey and Mueller have a long history of prosecutorial failures, missteps, and downright abuse.

In 2001, then-FBI Director Mueller and Comey aggressively targeted an innocent U.S. Army scientist, Steven Hatfill, for the anthrax scare. According to President Bush’s Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, Comey was “absolutely certain” that Hatfill was guilty of the anthrax letter scare. The FBI then used “bumper locking,” a type of surveillance using an ever-present spy van, to monitor Hatfill. One time, the van ran over Hatfill’s foot, for which he was fined. The FBI also leaked information to the press in an apparent smear campaign. Hatfill was eventually exonerated on Aug. 26, 2003, and received a taxpayer-funded settlement of nearly $6 million. Comey and Mueller have numerous similar stories of prosecutorial failures and manipulation, which are detailed extensively in my recent book, “Compromised.”

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