31 March, 2017
Comey, who took over the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013, proposed the op-ed during a meeting in June or July in the situation room of the White House in which Sec. of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Sec. of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson were also present, according to Newsweek. But according to two sources with knowledge of the situation, Obama officials in attendance at the meeting-which included Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson and National Security Adviser Susan Rice-struck down the idea.
"He had a draft of it or an outline", a source with knowledge of the meeting told Newsweek.
Comey reportedly wanted to attempt to publish the op-ed in the New York Times, where it allegedly contained the same information that was released on January 6 concerning intelligence about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his involvement in the 2016 election. The administration officials reportedly thought a coordinated announcement with the sign-off from multiple intelligence agencies was a more appropriate response. Rather, Newsweek reports that the op-ed would have hewed closely to the declassified intelligence report published in early January. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National intelligence went on to accuse the Russian government of meddling in the United States election on 7 October.
"Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency", the report said.
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Comey would not have confirmed the existence of a Justice Department probe into the Trump campaign's ties to the Russian government, which Comey recently testified began last summer.
"Director Comey and Adm. Rogers could not come in tomorrow as we'd hoped, so the Committee will continue to try to schedule a time when they can meet with us in closed session", Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, said in a statement.
Those of you paying attention surely recall that in July of previous year, what Comey did publicly disclose was the results of an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server -around the same time he wanted to publish his op-ed about Russian Federation.
For supporters of Hillary Clinton, news of the op-ed adds to the frustration over Comey's public disclosure of details about the investigation into her emails, including at a July press conference, but not about the probe involving Russian Federation and Trump, which began that same month.