James Comey indifferent to Russia probe results but wary of impeachment
James Comey is apathetic about the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 elections, the fired former FBI director revealed Thursday.
Reflecting on the probe as the investigation nears completion, Mr. Comey said he has “no idea” whether the special counsel’s office will ultimately conclude that President Trump knowingly conspired with the Russian government or obstructed justice.
“I also don’t care,” Mr. Comey said about the probe’s outcome. “I care only that the work be done, well and completely.”
Mr. Comey made the remarks in an op-ed published in the New York Times amid reports of the special counsel’s office preparing to finish its investigation into the 2016 race and related matters as soon as this Friday.
The FBI opened an investigation under Mr. Comey’s leadership to examine allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and Mr. Mueller, the bureau’s previous director, was appointed to take control of that probe after Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey in May 2017.
Investigators have since widened the probe to consider whether Mr. Comey’s termination amounted to obstruction to justice, according to multiple reports.
Congress could proceed with impeachment proceedings pending the results of the special counsel’s probe, though Mr. Comey wrote that he wishes its completing yields an outcome other than attempting to remove Mr. Trump from the White House.
“I don’t mean that Congress shouldn’t move ahead with the process of impeachment governed by our Constitution, if Congress thinks the provable facts are there. I just hope it doesn’t,” Mr. Comey wrote. “Because if Mr. Trump were removed from office by Congress, a significant portion of this country would see this as a coup, and it would drive those people farther from the common center of American life, more deeply fracturing our country.”
The Russian government conducted efforts during the 2016 race targeted the campaign of Mr. Trump’s rival, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, U.S. federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies previously concluded.
Mr. Trump has denied colluding with Russia and has repeatedly referred to Mr. Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt.”
More than 30 people have been charged as a result of the special counsel’s probe, including several former members of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign who pleaded guilty or have been convicted.