Grass­ley: Comey si­lence stoked para­noia

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Stephen Di­nan

A top Repub­li­can took to the Se­nate floor Thurs­day to blame fired FBI Di­rec­tor James B. Comey for fan­ning “con­spir­acy the­o­ries” about the U.S. elec­tion that “played right into Russia’s hands.”

Sen. Chuck Grass­ley, an Iowa Repub­li­can who heads the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee that over­sees the FBI, also accused Mr. Comey of work­ing to “shade the truth” by agree­ing to the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s at­tempt to soft-pedal the crim­i­nal probe of for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton.

De­spite ram­pant public spec­u­la­tion, Mr. Comey kept hid­den that the pres­i­dent wasn’t un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion — let­ting con­spir­acy the­o­ries and spec­u­la­tion run wild, Mr. Grass­ley said.

Mr. Grass­ley said he per­son­ally told Mr. Comey to re­veal pub­licly what the FBI di­rec­tor had told top con­gres­sional lead­ers — that the pres­i­dent wasn’t a tar­get of the Russia probe.

But Mr. Comey re­fused, say­ing later that he had feared say­ing some­thing he’d later have to cor­rect.

“None of this fi­asco had to hap­pen if Mr. Comey had just been trans­par­ent with the public, as I urged him to,” Mr. Grass­ley said. “They played right into Russia’s hands.”

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