In an interview at the 92nd Street Y this past Sunday, Nicole Wallace asked former FBI Director James Comey how two FBI agents ended up meeting with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the Situation Room during the first week of the Trump administration — the meeting that resulted in Flynn’s plea to one count of false statements in the case that is pending before Judge Emmet Sullivan. Comey responded (my transcription):
I sent them [laughter]. Something I probably wouldn’t have done, or maybe gotten away with, in a more organized investigation, [correcting himself] a more organized administration….[In previous administrations,] if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official you would work through the White House counsel. There would be discussions and approvals and who would be there and I thought it’s early enough, let’s just send a couple guys over [laughter].
Wallace’s entire interview with Comey is posted here. I have also embedded it below. The portion of the interview quoted above begins at about 12:40.
It is apparent from his comments and the contrast he draws with the Bush and Obama administrations that Comey knew he was exploiting (wrongly, in my view) an administration that was in its first days. He all but says as much.
Wall Street Journal editorial board member Kim Strassel refers to Comey’s comment in her column “Checking Robert Mueller” (accessible here via Outline). I find Comey’s comments to be shocking rather than humorous. Strassel certainly does not find them amusing.
They raise obvious follow-up questions that should be put to Comey under oath some time soon. I hope that Judge Sullivan takes note of Comey’s comments when the parties produce the documents he has demanded prior to Flynn’s scheduled sentencing next week.
I have cued the video below to begin with the exchange from which I draw the quote above.