Former FBI Director James Comey claimed Wednesday in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that former Vice President Joe Biden never raised the prospect of prosecuting then-incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn under the Logan Act.
The Logan Act is an obscure law from 1799 banning private citizens from conducting diplomacy. It has never been successful prosecuted, but it was used by the FBI in an effort to pursue Flynn, ultimately leading to his prosecution for allegedly lying to the FBI. (The Department of Justice is attempting to drop the case.)
Comey first answered questions from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) over whether he discussed the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into Russian “collusion,” as well as the Flynn prosecution, with Biden and President Barack Obama about
Grassley: Did you ever speak with President Obama or Vice President Biden about any aspect of Crossfire Hurricane. If so, what did you discuss?
Comey: I don’t remember any discussion. I remember sometime in the summer of 2016, I think August, during a meeting in the Situation Room, I told the president that the FBI was endeavoring to understand whether any Americans were working with the Russian effort to attack the election. I didn’t talk about any names, but I believe I alerted him to the general nature of the work.
Grassley: Did you ever speak with President Obama or Vice President Biden about any aspect of the Flynn case? If so, what did you discuss?
Comey: I remember the Flynn investigation coming up once, I think it was January the 5th , when President Obama held me back, to urge me to do the case in the normal way, and to let him know if there was any information that he should not be sharing sensitive information about Russia with the Trump transition [team]. I assured him that I would keep him informed and I would conduct the investigation in that way.
Later, under questioning from Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Comey said that Biden never suggested prosecuting Flynn under the Logan Act, and that he would have remembered if it happened, because it would have been “highly inappropriate.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.