Adam Schiff: The investigation James Comey started in 2017 is missing from the Mueller report

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In an interview with The Washington Post, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says the counterintelligence investigation launched by James Comey in 2017 is either missing or never happened.

Comey testified to the House Intelligence Committee that his investigation was a counterintelligence investigation. That kind of investigation would examine Russian espionage, cyber warfare, disinformation, and assets, specifically surrounding and even including Donald Trump.

Robert Mueller’s report was not the result of a counterintelligence investigation. It was the result of a criminal one.

We don’t know whether the Mueller team itself or others in the Mueller team or others outside the Mueller team continued the counterintelligence investigation after the criminal probe was opened or whether at some point it was closed… We have had a number of discussions now with the Department of Justice and the FBI, but on this point, we still have not gotten clarity, and that does concern us. There is a statutory obligation by the department to keep us currently and presently informed of significant counterintelligence matters, and it’s hard to imagine one more significant than this.

Adam Schiff

Some counterintelligence details do appear in the report, but nothing that amounts to a full investigation.

The fact that the president, while concealing it from the country, was seeking to make money in Russia, building a massive tower in Moscow and was seeking the Kremlin’s help and then misleading the country and… the Congress is a counterintelligence nightmare of the first order, [and Russia helped him lie about it]. So here you have the prospect of the Kremlin issuing its own false statements to help cover up for the president of the United States.

And so those are quintessential counterintelligence issues. It may not be a crime for a candidate for president to seek to make money from a hostile foreign power during an election and mislead the country about it. Maybe it should be, and given Rudy Giuliani’s aborted trip to Ukraine, they clearly haven’t learned the lesson from 2016. But the counterintelligence concerns go beyond mere violation of criminal law. They’re at one time not necessarily a criminal activity and at the same time potentially far more serious than criminal activity because you have the capacity to warp U.S. policy owing to some form of compromise.

Adam Schiff

In 2020, we learn that then-Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blocked the counterintelligence investigation when Mueller took over in 2017.


Washington Post Interview, Archived

Photo: Gage Skidmore (Cropped)

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