U.S. Rep. Will Hurd — a Republican who represents one of the largest geographical districts in Texas spanning from the edge of El Paso County to the outskirts of San Antonio — was in no mood for niceties when it came his turn to question FBI Director James Comey during the House Committee Oversight hearing Thursday.
He began by first addressing ‘the political confrontation between both parties’:
“I am offended. I am offended by my friends on the other side of the political aisle saying this is political theater. This not political theater,” Hurd said. “For me this is serious. I spent nine and a half years as an undercover officer in the CIA. I was the guy in the back alleys collecting intelligence, passing it to lawmakers. I’ve seen my friends killed. I’ve seen assets put into harm’s way and this is about protecting information, the most sensitive information the American government has, and I wish my colleagues would take this more serious.”
Hurd then questioned Comey on his decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton despite the agency’s finding that she ‘mishandled classified information.’
There followed some back and forth between the two with Comey sticking doggedly to the standpoint he had maintained throughout the hearing that there was no evidence of intent on Hillary’s part and therefore no criminal case to make against her even though, according to the statute, negligence in itself was cause to recommend criminal prosecution.
Finally Hurd, apparently exasperated and definitely angry, cut loose:
“So the former secretary of state, one of the president’s most important advisers on foreign policy and national security, had a server in her basement that had information that was collected from our most sensitive assets and it was not protected by anyone and that is not a crime?” Hurd asked.
“That is outrageous!” the congressman shouted. “People are concerned. What does it take for someone to misuse classified information and get in trouble for it?”
And all he got in reply from Director Comey was: “It takes mishandling it and criminal intent.”