FBI Director James Comey appeared on Capitol Hill for an oversight hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee today. GOP members focused their questions primarily on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and Comey’s ultimate decision not to recommend charges against the former secretary of state. The C-SPAN video of the hearing is posted here. I found the questioning by Reps. Sensenbrenner, Jordan, Gowdy, Franks, Ratcliffe, Trott and others to be intensely interesting.
The Washington Times succinctly delivers the good news and the bad news. The good news is that Comey made clear he has not cleared Madam Hillary of lying in the case. The bad news is that she will not be brought to justice.
Rep. Ron DeSantis represents Florida’s Sixth District, but he turned his questioning to events in Minnesota (video of Rep. DeSantis’s line of questions below). Law enforcement authorities in Minnesota have gone silent on the case. Thanks to Rep. DeSantis for taking it up with Comey.
Responding to Rep. DeSantis’s questions about the status of the FBI investigation of Dahir Adan’s stabbing rampage in St. Cloud a week ago Sunday, Comey states: “It does look like at least in part he was motivated by some sort of inspiration from radical Islamic groups, which groups and how we’re not sure of yet.”
Rep. DeSantis asks what’s going on in Minnesota generally. He puts the question this way: “Why is Minnesota turning out so many jihadists?” Comey cites Minnesota’s large and concentrated Somali community. Comey, however, downplays the number involved. “Again we’re talking about eight people [who have departed Minnesota to join terrorist groups], I think the number is,” he says, and praises the cooperation of Minnesota’s Somali community with law enforcement.
The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor covers Rep. DeSantis’s questions and Comey’s testimony here without noting the misleading aspects of Comey’s testimony. The terrorism case that went to trial in May included a group of 10 defendants, plus one recently charged defendant who is in Syria, plus one co-conspirator turned informant who hasn’t been charged. The group in that case numbers at least 12 all by itself.
Six of the 10 defendants pleaded guilty before trial. Two of the six entered into cooperation agreements with the government and testified at trial. Contrary to the gist of Comey’s remarks, the informant and two cooperating defendants took a lot of abuse within the Somali community for testifying against their three colleagues who went to trial — so much that Minneapolis FBI Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton made the following statement at the press conference immediately following the guilty verdicts that were returned on June 3: “I find it shameful that some so-called community leaders have tried to vilify the confidential human source in this case. There is something wrong when you blame the person who did the right thing and defend those who were clearly in the wrong.”