CBS, NBC Skip News of DOJ Watchdog Finding Comey ‘Insubordinate’

On Wednesday, media outlets began reporting of a draft Justice Department Inspector General report floating around that was highly critical of former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. But come Thursday evening, both CBS and NBC failed to mention it even though they each had the opportunity to report the development during two of evening broadcasts and their morning shows.

The IG report was said to have found that Comey was warned not to notify the public he reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails in October 2016, but he did it anyway. Of course, ABC, which was the only network to mention the news, pounced on it to push the suggestion it might have had an influence on the outcome of the election.

During ABC’s first report, on Wednesday evening’s World News Tonight, chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas somberly went through the timeline of that dreary day for Clinton:

Hillary Clinton was on a flight to Iowa when it happened. FBI Director James Comey revealing he had reopened the investigation into her e-mails, a stunning October surprise just 11 days before the election. (…) Clinton huddled with aides for nearly an hour. (…) President Trump, now one of Comey's biggest critics, at the time, heaped praise on the director.

All that before getting to what the report found.

[A] senior Justice Department official had urged Comey not to reveal he was reopening the Clinton probe so close to the election. That doing so would violate long-standing department policy,” Thomas finally reported. “But those sources also say the report concludes Comey defied authority more than once. One source telling ABC News the report describes Comey's behavior as insubordinate.

 

 

In a related but separate development, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was requesting “use immunity” from the Senate Judiciary Committee in exchange for testimony about the handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. This time, ABC joined both CBS and NBC in being dead silent about this development over the same Wednesday-Thursday timeframe.

Normally it's the FBI on the side of prosecutors offering deals to potential criminal witnesses,” quipped Fox News Channel anchor Shannon Bream during Wednesday’s Special Report. “Tonight, the former number two man at the FBI is seeking immunity for himself. Andrew McCabe wants a protection in exchange for telling Congress what he knows about Hillary Clinton's emails.

Doing what these three broadcast networks wouldn’t, Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge explained why McCabe would want that immunity. “ It's called ‘use immunity’ and it means McCabe’s testimony cannot be used against him in a criminal prosecution,” she said. “The Inspector General found that McCabe lied under oath and made a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney here in D.C. for lying to federal investigators.

According to Herridge, “[t]his morning a senior Senate Republican on the Judiciary Committee recommended against a deal to secure McCabe’s testimony.”

To show what they considered a greater priority, these broadcast networks chose to report on more frivolous topics like Starbucks raising their prices a few cents and road rage somewhere. NBC thought it was worth the airtime to report on a baseball fan who caught a foul ball with her beer and then finished it off with the ball still in it. Nothing but the most important of news, clearly.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read: 

 

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ABC
World News Tonight
June 6, 2018
6:42:52 PM Eastern [1 minute 58 seconds]

DAVID MUIR: Next tonight, what ABC News has learned about a new report coming on James Comey. The blistering criticism in this new draft report. What he was warned not to do just 11 days before the election involving Hillary Clinton, and what he did anyway. Here's ABC's chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas tonight.

[Cuts to video]

PIERRE THOMAS: Hillary Clinton was on a flight to Iowa when it happened. FBI Director James Comey revealing he had reopened the investigation into her e-mails, a stunning October surprise just 11 days before the election.

HILLARY CLINTON: I learned about it on the campaign plane, and I was stunned, to be honest. I didn't know what to think about it, because I knew there was nothing there. I was just dumbfounded. I thought, what is he doing?

THOMAS: Clinton huddled with aides for nearly an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Clinton, any reaction to the FBI investigation?

THOMAS: President Trump, now one of Comey's biggest critics, at the time, heaped praise on the director.

DONALD TRUMP: And it took guts for director Comey to make the move that he made.

THOMAS: The Justice Department's inspector general has been looking into Comey's decision, and now, sources familiar with a draft of his report tell ABC News, a senior Justice Department official had urged Comey not to reveal he was reopening the Clinton probe so close to the election. That doing so would violate long-standing department policy. But those sources also say the report concludes Comey defied authority more than once. One source telling ABC News the report describes Comey's behavior as insubordinate.

Comey has defended his actions, saying they were to protect the integrity of the FBI.

JAMES COMEY: Given what I knew at the time, these were the decisions that were best calculated to preserve the values of the institutions.

[Cuts back to live]

THOMAS: The draft report also criticizes former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for not clearly recusing herself after she met President Clinton on her plane during that campaign, David.

MUIR: Pierre Thomas live at the Justice Department. Pierre, thank you.

 

Fox News Channel
Special Report
June 6, 2018
6:04:40 PM Eastern

SHANNON BREAM: Normally it's the FBI on the side of prosecutors offering deals to potential criminal witnesses. Tonight, the former number two man at the FBI is seeking immunity for himself. Andrew McCabe wants a protection in exchange for telling Congress what he knows about Hillary Clinton's emails. Also tonight, a new report taking issue with the former head man at the bureau and how he did his job. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge has details on these astounding developments.

(…)

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: In a separate development, Fox News confirms that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who worked directly under Comey wants a special status if he testifies on Capitol Hill. It's called “use immunity” and it means McCabe’s testimony cannot be used against him in a criminal prosecution. The Inspector General found that McCabe lied under oath and made a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney here in D.C. for lying to federal investigators. This morning a senior Senate Republican on the Judiciary Committee recommended against a deal to secure McCabe’s testimony.

JOHN CORNYN: We really need to get to the bottom of what happened at the FBI during the Comey years where apparently there was misconduct going on which I think is really impugned the reputation of the finest law enforcement agency in the world. And we need to clear the air. And so, I think giving Mr. McCabe cover through immunity would be a mistake.

HERRIDGE: McCabe’s lawyer said, quote, "McCabe is willing to testify but because of the criminal referral he must be afforded suitable legal protection.” Adding, that if he were unable to get such deal, McCabe, quote, “will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-determination."

Testimony is scheduled for Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that has the lead on the Inspector General's report, but that date could slip yet again, Shannon.

(…)


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