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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
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(THREAD) The timeline of events leading up to the 2016 election confirms that Jim Comey's account of why he wrote the now-infamous "Comey Letter" on October 28, 2016 is untrue.

But it's the FBI, not himself, Comey is protecting. This thread explains. Hope you'll read and share.
1/ Comey now says he had to publicly reopen the Clinton email investigation on October 28, 2016 via a letter to Congress because he believed that if he didn't, Clinton would win the election and sometime thereafter it would be revealed the Clinton investigation had been reopened.
2/ In fact, it's not possible that what Comey says is accurate, for a number of reasons: when the emails were found, when Comey became aware of them, what was done with the emails after they were found, emails between Comey and McCabe, and how long it took to process the emails.
3/ On October 29th, 2016, the NYT ran a story with the following language: "Mr. Comey believed that if word of the new emails leaked out—and it was sure to leak out, he concluded—he risked being accused of misleading Congress and the public ahead of an election, colleagues said."
4/ We know that federal prosecutors seized Weiner's PC on September 26, 2016, pursuant to a warrant. We know that—by October 3, 2016 at the latest—Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI, was aware there were emails on the computer that were potentially "new" Clinton emails.
5/ The question is when Comey learned of these "new" emails. According to ProPublica, Comey learned about the existence of the emails at the same time as McCabe, on October 3, 2016. According to some others, he didn't learn of this until October 26, 2016.…
6/ If Comey learned of the new emails on October 3, 2016, nothing Comey has said makes sense. He would've alerted Congress on that date—under the duty he's said he felt he had—rather than 25 days later. He would've sought a new search warrant to read the emails on October 3 or 4.
7/ That's why there's every reason to think ProPublica misreported the story at the time, and that Comey didn't know about the emails until McCabe informed him of them on October 26, 2016. Otherwise, Comey sat on the emails for 23 days and wasn't surprised by them on October 26.
8/ But there are some problems with the theory Comey first learned of the emails on October 26, 2016. One problem is we have email exchanges between Comey and McCabe during the period from October 3 to October 26, when presumably only McCabe (in the DC office) knew of the emails.
9/ Per emails the FBI produced under a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, on October 23, 2016—allegedly, three days *before* Comey learned of the new Clinton emails—he and McCabe were discussing via email a WSJ story that called into question how McCabe handled the Clinton case.
10/ Here's a link to the 79 pages of McCabe-Comey emails that Judicial Watch uncovered.

If you want to understand how Trump won the 2016 presidential election, it's imperative that you read this document and particularly the emails from October 23 and 24:…
11/ On October 23, McCabe freely and willingly sent to Comey a WSJ article calling into question McCabe's handling of the Clinton probe—specifically by noting that a Clinton friend had contributed to McCabe's wife's political campaign. McCabe exhibits full candor in the exchange.
12/ Those who say Comey first learned of the new Clinton emails on October 26 say that *even as* McCabe was emailing Comey to talk about his handling of the Clinton probe on October 23...

...he was withholding the fact the NYC office had found up to *650,000* new Clinton emails.
13/ What's more, McCabe was emailing Comey on October 23 to *allay any fears Comey may've had* that he—McCabe—was conflicted as to Clinton.

It'd be extraordinary for McCabe to be bending over backwards in this way even as he was hiding up to 650,000 Clinton emails from his boss.
14/ But McCabe didn't stop there. The next day—October 24—he emailed his boss (Comey) *again* on the topic of his own handling of the Clinton case. This time he forwarded Comey an article about the Clinton email probe by the fake-news website True Pundit.
15/ McCabe's October 24 email to Comey was *specifically intended* to *warn* Comey that pro-Trump moles within the FBI were leaking information about the Clinton probe to pro-Trump websites. The True Pundit article McCabe forwarded claimed to have FBI sources and McCabe *agreed*.
16/ McCabe told Comey that "heavyweight" pro-Trump leakers within the FBI—presumably trying to help Trump win the election—were illegally leaking to pro-Trump websites (misleading) information suggesting that the Clinton email probe had been biased for Clinton. Comey disagreed.
17/ Comey's October 24 reply to McCabe about the True Pundit article—which alleged a pro-Clinton bias in the FBI's Clinton probe—is telling in two ways:

1) Comey refers to the Clinton investigation in the past tense.
2) Comey acknowledges he thinks the NYC FBI office is leaking.
18/ That Comey—on October 24, 2016—referred to the Clinton probe in the past tense suggests that, contra ProPublica, he didn't know about the "new" Clinton emails. Either that or (less likely) he knew of them and had not yet realized they meant he had to re-open the Clinton case.
19/ On the other hand, the NYT wrote on October 29 that Comey wrote the "Comey Letter" because he believed news of the "new" Clinton emails was "sure to leak"—a certainty he developed because of McCabe's October 24 revelation there were pro-Trump leakers in the NYC field office.
20/ So the question is, if McCabe was simultaneously hiding 650,000 Clinton emails from his boss while *reassuring* him he was handling the Clinton case fairly and transparently—a bizarre thing for him to do—why did McCabe suddenly, on October 26, choose to "come clean" to Comey?
21/ There are two possibilities to explain what happened on October 26. Here's the first one: Andrew McCabe, spooked by the True Pundit piece—and the pro-Trump FBI (NYC field office) leakers it cited—wanted to come clean about the hidden emails before his boss found out via leak.
22/ The second explanation for the summit that occurred on October 26—at which Comey "first learned" of the "new" Clinton emails—is that McCabe had *never* hidden anything from Comey, Comey knew of the emails beginning October 3, but *suddenly* he got worried the info would leak.
22/ The first explanation is the one American media has run with: McCabe is a pro-Clinton villain who lied to his boss for weeks to try to ensure Clinton would win the election. But that explanation falls apart immediately when you look at it for even a moment.

It can't be true.
23/ If McCabe is the lying, pro-Clinton villain here, why:

1) was *he* the one to disclose the emails to Comey on October 26?
2) does Comey so ardently defend him as having done nothing wrong?
3) does ProPublica say Comey knew of the "new" emails on October 3?

And what's more:

4) Why was McCabe at such great pains to raise the issue of his transparency on the Clinton email probe with Comey?
5) Why did the NYT write that Comey's reason for writing Congress *wasn't* his sudden discovery of new emails but his realization that info was "sure to leak"?
25/ So we have three broader narratives that are possible: only the NYC field office knew of the "new" emails before October 26; the NYC field office *and* McCabe knew; or the NYC field office *and* McCabe *and* Comey knew.

The problem—all three entities have told untruths here.
26/ The NYC field office can't be trusted, as it was illegally leaking to True Pundit, Trump advisor Giuliani, Giualiani pal James Kallstrom, and who knows how many others.

McCabe—per IG Horowitz—misled FBI investigators on whether *he* leaked.

Comey's timeline is nonsensical.
27/ Comey's timeline is nonsensical because it only took the FBI nine days to review the "new" Clinton emails and "re-close" the Clinton email probe, yet Comey says his fear on October 26 was that news of the "re-opened" probe would come out *after* the election. See the problem?
28/ If Comey was certain Clinton would win, as he now says, and didn't want the Clinton probe to remain open past Election Day—November 8—as he now says, and he first learned of the new emails on October 26, as he now says...

...why not just finish the FBI probe *pre-election*?
29/ When Comey (allegedly) first learned of the "new" emails on October 26, he had—inclusive of October 26 and November 8—*14 days* before Clinton's presumptive election to review the emails and "re-close" the Clinton investigation. In the event, he only needed *9 days*—far less.
30/ Given this timeline, why did Comey have to write Congress at all? It couldn't have been what he says now: that he was concerned Clinton would be elected and that—after her election—she'd come under a cloud of suspicion because of a still-open FBI probe. It was something else.
31/ By the same token, why has Comey *lauded* McCabe—and why was McCabe clearly so transparent with Comey about his handling of the Clinton investigation—if in fact McCabe was a villain hiding 650,000 emails from his boss? That makes no sense, either. It has to be something else.
32/ The *same explanation* answers both questions, is consistent with NYT reporting, and accommodates every fact we now know: those three little words, "sure to leak." McCabe and Comey had realized by October 26 the New York field office was trying to swing the election to Trump.
33/ But please—please—don't take my word for it. Take James Comey's *sworn testimony* before Congress.

Answering questions from Sen. Leahy of Vermont, Comey said he was aggressively investigating pre-election leaks from the New York field office. He was visibly angry about them.
34/ And it was *that* day of testimony—in which Comey said he was hot on the trail of the FBI leakers in New York who were in contact with the Trump campaign pre-election—that President Trump says he watched...

...and which President Trump says made him decide to *fire* Comey.
35/ By October 3, the FBI had already used a search warrant to *get* Weiner's PC. And all they had to do, on October 3, was apply for a second search warrant to read the Clinton emails on that PC. But wait! you say—wouldn't that second search warrant have re-opened the case? Yes.
36/ But the FBI office in DC—and it's interesting that Comey and McCabe took the reopened case in DC, rather than letting the New York field office have it—actually didn't *need* to file a second search warrant. Why? Because the owners of the PC were *both cooperating witnesses*.
37/ That's right: on October 3, all McCabe, Comey, or anyone at the FBI had to do was ask Huma or her estranged husband for permission to read the "new" Clinton emails. And Huma and/or Weiner would have said "yes"—as they'd already agreed to offer *full cooperation* with the FBI.
38/ So it's clear a *decision* was made to sit on the emails rather than try to uncover what they said. Either the NYC FBI made that decision with an aim of leaking false or misleading info about the "new" emails pre-election, or McCabe and/or Comey conspired to hide the emails.
39/ If it's the former—if the NYC field office of the FBI, while in illegal contact with the Trump campaign, conspired to hide and/or not do any research on the "new" Clinton emails with an aim of using them as an "October Surprise"—it's a scandal as big or bigger than Watergate.
40/ If it's the latter—if McCabe and/or Comey decided to bury the emails until the election was over—there's absolutely no explanation for why they suddenly decided to change their plans on October 26, unless the change in plans is explained by threats from pro-Trump FBI leakers.
41/ Both of those possibilities would destroy the credibility of the FBI for years to come.

So perhaps it's no surprise Comey is trying to thread the needle with his own, *third* narrative—the problem being that that narrative just makes no sense whatsoever, as we've seen here.
42/ In trying to deduce Comey's motive in crafting this third—nonsensical—narrative, we can note a trend: the new narrative exculpates him, exculpates McCabe, and includes no mention of the illegal leaking that plagued the FBI pre-election.

In other words, *it protects the FBI*.
43/ The truth would *inculpate* the FBI three times over: (1) McCabe wrongly sat on the emails and hid them from Comey; (2) pro-Trump leakers wrongly threatened illegal leaks—forcing McCabe's hand; (3) Comey gave Trump the election out of a ham-fisted attempt to hide all of this.
44/ As for (3), if Comey first heard of the emails on October 26, the right move was not to violate the FBI's time-honored tradition of not discussing open investigations, but to work his agents like dogs for however many days it took to find there was nothing new in the emails.
45/ I've spoken with IT professionals on this topic—many of them, in fact—and all agree that the forensic IT folks at the FBI would have been able to give Comey a *very* accurate picture of how long the "new" email investigation would take. And it would've been less than 14 days.
46/ Even if it took longer than 14 days, Comey could've fallen back on the FBI's decades-long policy of not discussing open investigations—and note that it would've taken an *earth-shattering smoking gun* to change Comey's earlier findings that Clinton wasn't criminally culpable.
47/ So again we return to the question: why did Comey violate FBI policy and risk influencing a national election to alert Congress of an open investigation with (a) every chance of being finished pre-election, and (b) virtually *no* chance of changing the FBI's earlier findings?
48/ And again I return to the *same* answer, which is the *only* answer that makes any of this make sense: the FBI's NYC field office—in conjunction with the Trump campaign—was threatening to *make* the emails a campaign issue in the days before the election. And we have *proof*.
49/ On November 4, Trump advisor Erik Prince went on Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon's Breitbart to spread fake news about what the emails said (he was banking on Comey not having time to disprove him pre-election).

Trump's son Don retweeted this—as did Trump advisor Mike Flynn.
50/ In the last week of October, Trump advisor Giuliani went on TV/radio to say he was in contact with active FBI agents and an October surprise was coming. And pro-Trump elements in the FBI and NYPD leaked (false) info on the "new" Clinton emails online. And their plan *worked*.
CONCLUSION/ The tiny glimpse we've had into IG Horowitz's report so far gives the false impression there was a pro-Clinton conspiracy at the FBI by only discussing McCabe's actions. And Comey has done nothing to dispel this—because he's protecting the FBI. But the truth with out.
SUMMARY/ McCabe and Comey wouldn't have discussed an open investigation publicly—especially not one whose "new" info had virtually *no chance* of changing prior conclusions—had not rogue pro-Trump FBI agents, working with the Trump campaign, blackmailed them into doing otherwise.
CLARIFICATION/ In Tweet #16, when I say Comey "disagreed" with McCabe's assessment of the True Pundit article McCabe sent him on October 24, 2016, I *don't* mean Comey disagreed that there were leakers within the New York field office—I mean he disagreed about how much they knew.
NOTE/ This thread continues here:
THREAD CONTINUES/ This "Part 1" thread continues into a Part 2, which you can find here:
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