'This Is a Head-Scratcher': Judge Nap on Comey's Claim He Alone Decided Not to Prosecute Hillary
Judge Andrew Napolitano said Wednesday that it's a "head-scratcher" as to why then-FBI Director James Comey pronounced that he alone decided not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
House Judiciary Committee Member John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) tweeted that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified under oath that the Obama Justice Department ordered the FBI to stand down.
Lisa Page confirmed to me under oath that the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information. pic.twitter.com/KPQKINBtrB
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) March 13, 2019
The exchange came under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe during Page’s Hill appearance last year.
Page and since-fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who were romantically involved, exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, and Republicans have long accused the bureau of political bias.
"So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory," Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to a transcript excerpt he posted on Twitter. "But when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —"
Page interrupted: "That is correct," as Ratcliffe finished his sentence, " -- bring a case based on that."
"The FBI works for the DOJ, not the other way around," Napolitano said. "If the DOJ says we're not going to charge her with a crime, [they won't]."
Napolitano, a Fox News senior judicial analyst, said it was already "unusual" for Comey to make a public statement about an investigation, but reminded the "Outnumbered" panel that Comey emphasized that he made the decision without any influence.
"This is such a head-scratcher," Napolitano added, saying that Comey didn't have to make such a pronouncement on top of holding a rare press event on the matter.
The judge said Ratcliffe's account is "radically different from what James Comey told us two summers ago."