Former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova on Monday blamed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for blocking the House subpoenas for former Attorney General Lynch and former FBI Director James Comey for more than a year and a half. And he lashed out at Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte for going along with it, calling him an “embarrassment” and a “wuss.”
DiGenova made the comments during an interview on WMAL where he discussed President Trump’s pick for attorney general, William Barr, along with Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and Comey’s closed-door testimony.
“I think that it’s an embarrassment that Paul Ryan and McCarthy prevented the issuance of subpoenas until this very late date so that they, in essence, had to try and squeeze everything in at the last minute,” diGenova said. “And it’s a shame that Goodlatte didn’t publicly announce that he was being prevented from issuing subpoenas, which is, in fact, the case. Shame on Paul Ryan and shame on Kevin McCathy,” he added.
“Goodlatte should have stood up and given a speech or held a news conference saying, ‘I want to issue subpoenas, but I can’t,'” diGenova continued, arguing that the congressman was thus “complicit” in the decision to put it off. “I’m not excusing Goodlatte, he’s an embarrassment. He’s just a wuss. And Ryan and McCarthy are responsible for these late subpoenas, and shame on them as well,” he added.
The fiery legal analyst also scorched Goodlatte last month, right after the subpoenas were issued, saying the Judiciary Committee chairman should be embarrassed for buckling under the House leadership’s pressure to not issue the subpoenas.
“There are two reasons they lost their majority: not issuing subpoenas like this and John McCain voting against Obamacare in the Senate,” he declared.
DiGenova panned Comey’s performance on Friday, calling his “breezy and convenient forgetfulness” an “insult to the committee” and suggesting that he committed perjury. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that he feigned forgetfulness,” he argued.
The attorney found Comey’s lack of memory surrounding the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign especially unconvincing.
“This investigation was run out of his office with McCabe and Strzok on the seventh floor,” he explained. “This was not a field office investigation. So his claims that he doesn’t remember these things are just ludicrous.”
DiGenova did say that he expects Comey to be indicted for leaking information to the New York Times.
“The Department may actually look at this testimony as well, assuming that they get a referral from the feckless members of the committee,” he said, arguing that Comey “lied through his teeth” during his testimony on Friday.
“Remember, this is the smartest guy in the room — the copious, surreptitious note-taker who remembers everything, forgets nothing, as long as it helps him,” diGenova scoffed.
DiGenova noted that under questioning, Comey admitted that the Steele dossier was unverified before and after the FBI obtained the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page.
“Huber is supposed to be investigating all of this and I have no idea whether he is or not,” he said. “We’ve seen nothing to indicate that anything has happened in that regard.”
The attorney warned that an effort might be underway “to prevent holding accountable criminally people like Comey and Page and Strzok and McCabe and Baker and all of these people — 26 people who’ve resigned or stepped aside.” Others who may be avoiding accountability include Bruce Orr, Samantha Power and whoever unmasked General Flynn. “Who’s working on all this stuff?” he asked plaintively.
“The General Flynn case began with a crime but it wasn’t committed by General Flynn. It was committed by the United States government and Sally Yates for unmasking,” diGenova continued. “Why hasn’t that been investigated? Where are the indictments about the unmasking and the illegal, felonious leaks to the Washington Post?”
He noted that we haven’t heard a word from “Superman Rod Rosenstein” or anyone else at the Department of Justice about any of these violations of federal law, so it is understandable that the president is furious.
DiGenova called the partisan political spying “the greatest political crime in the history of the country” and accused the Obama administration of weaponizing the intelligence system.
“John Brennan, James Clapper, Sally Yates — they all were in on this. They weaponized the intelligence,” he argued. “They got [the FISA Section] 702 — identifying information of American citizens — illegally,” he continued. “The FISA court, by the way, wrote an opinion where they said that contractors for the FBI got access to the identity information of American citizens illegally. Illegally! And nobody has paid attention to the FISA court.”
DiGenova added that the court called it “a stunning decision by the court, accusing everybody of illegality.”