A government watchdog group revealed Thursday that former FBI Director James Comey was advised by senior FBI officials to seek Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s advice prior to testifying before “any congressional committee” about President Donald Trump’s campaign and its alleged collusion with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to new emails obtained by Judicial Watch. 

Comey was also advised to seek Mueller’s counsel on the circumstances surrounding his firing by Trump before providing testimony to Congress, the Department of Justice emails obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. It is the first time evidence reveals there was coordination between the Special Counsel and Comey in the long drawn out controversial Mueller investigation.

“These documents show that James Comey, who was fired by the president, nevertheless had easy, friendly access to the FBI as he prepped his infamous anti-Trump testimony to the Senate,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, in a press release. “This collusion led to Comey’s attacking President Trump and misusing FBI records as part of a vendetta against the president.”

“The emails, along with news reports, also reveal that Comey met with Mueller prior to his June 8, 2017, testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee…”

In one of the email chains dated May 19, 2017, shortly after Comey was fired by Trump, his then Chief of Staff James Rybicki sends an email to then FBI Deputy Director McCabe, FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich, former FBI General Counsel James A. Baker, among others and says, “Please see a DRAFT response to Director Comey (below). I will hold pending further direction….”

The email states:

In response to your emails below we have consulted with executive management here, including the General Counsel, and recommend the following

  1. That your counsel convey any acceptance or declinations to invitations to testify directly to the Committees.
  2. That your counsel consult with Special Counsel Mueller to determine the timing of any such testimony and, [Emphasis added]
  3. The Office of General Counsel stands ready to discuss with you in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel, institutional privileges or prerogatives that may be presented by any such testimony.

The emails, along with news reports, also reveal that Comey met with Mueller prior to his June 8, 2017, testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee and, according to Judicial Watch, that testimony was coordinated with Mueller.

During Comey’s June 8, 2017 testimony before the Senate he revealed that he had leaked information from memos he created on his meetings with Trump while he was still director of the FBI. He gave those memos to his friend, Columbia law professor Daniel Richman, who then leaked them to The New York Times. Comey admitted that he leaked the memos with the intention that they be leaked to the news organization with the hope that it would lead to a special counsel investigation of the President.

Tom Fitton

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself, for a variety of reasons,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee. “But I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

The former embattled FBI director has fought back against accusations that he leaked classified memos but lawmakers contend that Comey did leak property of the FBI in violation of Bureau protocol. They also contend that some of the memos contained classified information and issued a criminal referral on Comey last month citing the leaks and the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the nature of the investigation, as first reported. 


  • May 17, 2017 — Comey was notified to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the House Oversight and Government AffairsCommittee.
  • On May 18 and 19, 2017, an email chain with the subject line “Future testimony” shows former Comey FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Assistant Director Gregory Brower, Comey and others discussing Comey’s upcoming testimony
  • May 18 at 6:30 pm, Comey sent an email to Rybicki confirming that he had accepted the invitation to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
  • In that same email chain Comey noted that he declined the invitations from the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee.

In an email dated May 19, 2017, which was apparently to Rybicki, Comey says, “I just got off a call with Senators Burr and Warner. They would like to have a hearing next Wednesday at which I testify, first in open session and then in closed, if necessary. I asked them not to announce it until I check with FBI/DOJ to see if you want to discuss anything before they do that. I told them I had asked for guidance on any institutional prerogatives and for the opportunity to review any documents FBI has produced that relate to me. I told them I would communicate with them by the end of the day to either ask them to hold announcing the Wednesday hearing or go ahead.


Notable Replies

  1. u003cpu003eThank you for your work Sarah. Great reporting. How does this happen in Americau003c/pu003e

  2. Surak says:

    u003cpu003eWhen does this EVER rise to a level of action and response on the part of the - ahem - alleged Attorney General of the United States? Waiting for the IG’s report - which was due in December, um January, um February, um March, um April, um May - is running out the clock. Even then!!! - with two investigations by Congress and a referral by the IG, no prosecution on Andrew McCabe - but plenty of court action against Flynn and Manafort.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eThe one tiny bright spot in all this is watching The Conservative Treehouse pipe down on their mockery of Sara Carter and Gregg Jarrett, whose reporting has been more accurate than the intrigue of CTH, which at one time promoted DAG Rod Rosenstein as one of the good guys. No apologies from them - yet.u003c/pu003e

  3. u003cpu003eThe unasked and unanswered question, is why would Comey choose to coordinate with Mueller if he’s going to testify to Congress only about his meetings with Trump. Surely Comey has already testified to Mueller’s team about those meetings, and Trump knows everything about the meetings as well since he was present. So there’s no need to keep anything about those meetings secret from Congress or the people other than any government secrets that were discussed.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eIf Mueller and Comey are trying to get Trump on an obstruction of justice charge, then they don’t want Comey saying anything that would indicate Trump is innocent of any such charge. Comey’s memos are still partly redacted, so that information is only available to Comey and Mueller. Is Mueller trying to keep that secret because it undermines his attempt to get Trump, or perhaps to cover up Comey crimes?u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eI’m very disappointed in Mueller after learning of his record. And the same goes for Comey.u003c/pu003e

  4. u003cpu003eThe first FISA warrant was signed on October 19, 2016, the same day as the last Presidential debate. Coincidence? A debate by all accounts won by then candidate Trump.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eThat same night, The Washington Post online article headlined, “Trump Won the Third Debate”.u003cbru003en“The fact is this is a change election, and Clinton is not the change candidate. People don’t really want to vote for her, and tonight, she didn’t give them much of a reason to do so.” Washington Postu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eOnly a fool would think Comey and Mueller had no communications between themselves. I assume they communicated throughout the campaign.u003c/pu003e

  5. u003cpu003eThe coup continues against the President, even as the criminal actions of those involved are revealed. Sessions should put an immediate halt to all of the Mueller actions until a full review is done. All persons named should be put on administrative leave pending investigation, with all security credentials suspended till each one is individually interviewed, polygraphed and cleared. The very real and worrisome thing is, just how far will these fanatics go to rid themselves of a legally elected President? Is there nothing that is too extreme for these psychopaths?u003cbru003enIt lies with Sessions, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Where is he?u003c/pu003e

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