NYPost reports Senate Republicans are vowing to haul James Comey and James Clapper back before Congress to ask which one committed perjury about briefing then-President Barack Obama on Michael Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador.
Comey, the fired former FBI director, said in newly released congressional testimony that Clapper, the former US intelligence chief, briefed Obama. Clapper testified, however, that he did not.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told The Post, “You don’t have to be a senior at city college to realize one of them is lying. I think we ought to call them both back in and ask them: Which one of you guys is lying to Congress?”
“If you or I lie to Congress, it’s supposed to be a felony,” Kennedy said.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told The Post he plans to hold hearings about a Jan. 5, 2017, meeting in the Oval Office where Obama startled then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who ran day-to-day operations at the Justice Department, by informing her about two December 2016 calls between Flynn, a campaign adviser and transition aide to incoming President Trump, and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“We’ll have hearings about the Jan. 5 meeting,” Graham told The Post. Comey and Clapper “definitely” would be invited, he said.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SC) noted the Judiciary Committee’s role to The Post, saying that “these guys can’t seem to shoot straight. Clearly there were a lot of misstatements and everything else that need to be researched and further investigated.”
Reps for Comey and Clapper — who are among the top officials who tried to “unmask” Flynn’s identity during the Russia probe, according to a report by acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell — did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The FBI under Comey routinely bypassed Justice Department leaders, including in announcing a decision not to criminally charge Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information.
Some Republicans say Obama may have had disproportionate influence in the Flynn case. The FBI moved to close an investigation into Flynn a day before the Oval Office meeting. Then-FBI official Peter Strzok salvaged the probe with a theory about Flynn violating the never-used Logan Act of 1799. Strzok later conducted an interview with Flynn where he allegedly lied.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told The Post that “my guess is there’s going to be even more information coming out that’s even stronger tying Obama to all of the decisions around Flynn.” Clapper, who admittedly offered Congress false testimony in 2013 about domestic surveillance, “should have been prosecuted before and I think he’ll go down in history as a big fat liar,” Paul said.