As backdrop, there have been a series of leaks of closed-door (but unclassified) testimony before Congress by a variety of DOJ and FBI actors implicated in the Spygate scandal. The most recent, published earlier today, spotlights an interesting claim by former head of counter-intelligence Bill Priestap.
On March 20, 2017, James Comey appeared before Congress in a public hearing. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked Comey why he had not briefed Congress on the counterintelligence investigation into alleged "Trump-Russia collusion" during the required quarterly briefings.
STEFANIK: So just to drill down on this, if -- if the open investigation began in July and the briefing of congressional leadership only occurred recently, why was there no notification prior to the recent -- to the past month?
COMEY: I think our decision was it was a matter of such sensitivity that we wouldn't include it in the quarterly briefings.
STEFANIK: So when you state our decision is that your decision? Is that usually your decision what gets briefed in those quarterly updates?
COMEY: No, it's usually the decision of the head of our counter-intelligence division.
STEFANIK: And just again, to get the detailed -- on the record, why was the decision made not to brief senior congressional leadership until recently when the investigation had been open since July? A very serious investigation -- why was that decision to wait months?
COMEY: Because of the sensitivity of the matter.
But during his own testimony, Priestap stated that Comey was full of crap.
According to Priestap, [Comey's testimony was not] accurate... Priestap stated that “Mr. Comey was involved in those notifications, I was not.” Priestap continued, “I don’t instruct Mr. Comey, nor did I ever instruct him to do anything.”
It seems clear that Comey, suprised by Stefanik's astute testimony, muffed the answer by trying to lay blame on Priestap when, it appears, that person had no authority to brief Congress. That was solely the Director's call.
"A higher loyalty," indeed.
I'll eagerly await the Roger Stone-like raid on Comey's residence, with 29 heavily-armed agents taking the former FBI director into custody for lying to Congress.
Related: The Timeline of Treason.