Phone Calls between Rybicki and Axelrod
Rybicki stated that he spoke with Axelrod on the afternoon of October 27.
Rybicki told us his conversation with Axelrod was “twofold” and explained,
To let him know that the Director had decided to, the Director had
decided to authorize the seeking of the search warrant. And there was
no real reaction to that from [Axelrod]. I think he, I think he perhaps
knew that was coming, or, he didn’t seem surprised in any way. And
then two was the second part that the Director felt he had the
obligation to supplement the record…. [Axelrod had a] very strong
reaction. You know, you know, no, we just don’t do that. Right? We,
you know, we don’t do that.
Rybicki stated that he and Axelrod had “a series of phone calls” the rest of the day.
After the initial call to Axelrod, Rybicki told us that his understanding was that
Axelrod was speaking for both Yates and Lynch in their subsequent calls. We asked
Rybicki why Comey and Yates did not speak directly. Rybicki stated that he “had
asked whether they wanted to speak to the Director, and, and [Axelrod] said no.”
Rybicki told us that he asked Axelrod to provide the FBI with any Department
policy or guidance dealing with investigative activity near an election. Rybicki
stated that Axelrod did not believe the congressional notification would technically
violate Department policy, but was outside of “the normal course.” Rybicki told us
that he explained Comey’s thinking to Axelrod, stating that Comey “felt strongly”
and “felt he had the obligation” to notify Congress.
Axelrod stated that he received a call from Rybicki on October 27 and Rybicki
informed him “that the Director was intending to send a letter to Congress notifying
them” of the decision to examine the Midyear-related emails on the Weiner laptop.
Axelrod described his reaction as “surprise, concern, dismay” and stated:
I told [Rybicki] like in that initial call look, obviously I’ll have to talk to
folks here and, you know, call you back. But I said, but I will give you
my initial reaction which is that…[this] would be [a] very bad idea.
Contrary to…Department policies and procedures, both about, you
know, taking overt investigative steps so close to an election and
talking to the Hill about, you know, investigations…. It just struck me
as incredibly problematic.
Axelrod told us that he and Rybicki “talked it through a little bit” and Rybicki asked
Axelrod to send him the relevant Department policies. Axelrod told us that
contacted Ray Hulser, then Section Chief of the Department’s Public Integrity
Section, to get information on the relevant policies.
Axelrod stated that Rybicki told him “that the Director believes he has an
obligation to correct a misimpression that Congress has” that the Midyear
investigation is concluded. Axelrod told us that this was “the key part” of their
conversation. Axelrod stated that he asked Rybicki where Comey had promised to
update Congress and Rybicki replied that it related more to the “overall tenor” of
Comey’s testimony to Congress. Axelrod told us that he tried to convince Rybicki
that Comey and the FBI would be better served following Department policies and
procedures. Axelrod continued:
[Rybicki] never said look, I don’t think that’s the policy or I don’t think
that’s the procedure or I don’t understand…. [H]e was all like yeah, I
get all that but this is different. This is separate. The Director has
testified. The Director believes that Congress has, now has a
misimpression and so it’s the Director’s you know, butt on the line.
And he needs to do this. And you know, and if he doesn’t, you know,
the concern [is] it’s not survivable for him.358
We asked Axelrod what he understood Rybicki to mean by the comment that
this would not be survivable for Comey. Axelrod stated:
I understood that to mean that they thought that the heat the Director
would get from the Hill, right, so that if this doesn’t, you know, he
doesn’t surface it and then…afterwards when it comes out that [the]
Bureau had this information but kept it quiet that there would be calls
for his resignation that he wouldn’t be able to survive.
Axelrod stated that Rybicki told him that the FBI was also concerned that the
information would leak if no notification was made.
We asked Rybicki if he told Axelrod that failing to notify Congress would not
be survivable for Comey. Rybicki told us that he did not “remember using that
language.” Rybicki stated, “I certainly conveyed how seriously Director Comey felt
about it. But I, I don’t recall, you know, the survivability of it. I just, sitting here I
don’t.” We also asked Rybicki if he more generally conveyed that there would be
“political heat and a call to resign” if Congress was not notified. Rybicki replied,
“[N]ot that I can recall. I remember telling him the Director felt strongly. But I
don’t remember sort of political heat, calls to resign, just that he felt strongly and
that he, he himself felt he had the obligation.”
We asked Comey if he expressed concerns at the time about not being able
to survive as the FBI Director if Congress discovered post-election that he had not
notified them of this development in the Midyear investigation. As previously
noted, Comey stated that it would cause “catastrophic damage” to the FBI, the
Department, and to a Clinton presidency. He said that he did not remember
expressing his concerns in terms of survivability, but added, “I’m sure I said
something like, if I chose conceal over speak, I ought to be fired, I ought to be
hung out, I would be run out of town because of the damage it will have brought to
this. I’m sure I said things like that.”
We asked others in FBI leadership if they heard Comey state that failing to
notify Congress would not be survivable. Bowdich stated he did not recall Comey
making that comment, but did remember Comey saying:
I am going to take a huge hit on this, but it’s the right thing to do.
And I remember him, it struck me that not only was the organization
going to take a hit, but he even, I remember him pointing and saying I
am going to suffer personally from this as well. But he felt it was the
right decision to make.
Anderson stated that Comey viewed sending at the letter to Congress as the option
that “would do the least damage to the Bureau’s long-term credibility and integrity
as an institution.”
Baker stated, “I think [Comey] may have said like I could be impeached” or
“something along those lines.” We asked Baker to explain the context for that
remark. Baker stated:
It may have been during the meeting, one of the two meetings on the
28th [or] 27th…. Some of the stuff that gets talked about at those
meetings…he and I talked about separately later and kind of repeated
it. But at some point in time, he raised, I don’t remember the context
exactly. He raised the issue of, you know, potentially he could get
impeached for this if he doesn’t tell them this.
Baker told us that because Comey “had testified under oath, and now that
something different has happened, people are going to react to this big-time” if it
was leaked or the FBI told Congress “after the election or whatever.”
If Comey would have just done his job he would’ve never been in this position,
Axelrod actually told the head of the FBI that informing Congress was a bad idea!!
He also said “taking overt investigative steps so close to an election and
talking to the Hill about, you know, investigations…. It just struck me
as incredibly problematic.”
How come the FBI sent a spy in on the Trump campaign. Guess that is more of the “do as we say not as we do” propaganda of the liberal traitor. It is not ok to investigate Hillary so close to an election on real evidence of a real crime, but Trump on Clinton paid for “Phony evidence” is welcomed!!
THE COVER UP WAS IN PLACE BECAUSE THEY ALL THOUGHT HILLARY WAS GOING TO WIN.~RJH