Former FBI director James Comey is on the verge of releasing his new book entitled “Higher Loyalty.” The media are buzzing about as if this will finally be the thing that takes down Trump. George Stephanopoulos nabbed the first interview (which will air Sunday), excerpts of which show him asking hard hitting questions such as whether Comey can reveal anything that will “damage” Trump.
The goal of the media here is as collective as the spittle forming on the edge of their lips and they’ve dropped all pretense of hiding it.
There’s perhaps no other public figure in the past ten years who is more insufferable in their own narcissism than Mr. Comey. Yes, he’s worse than Barack Obama and while President Trump is no doubt a narcissist, he doesn’t try to convince you he’s not, so that’s thoughtful of him at least. In Comey’s case, he operates with a god complex not matched since Hoover was at the FBI. To say his sense of self-importance was and continues to be overblown is an understatement.
Now, with this new book, we are once again supposed to treat Comey as a voice of truth from the wilderness. In reality, as Joe Cunningham shared this morning, Comey is simply out to sell books and anyone who treats it as anything more than that is a total sucker. This is the same guy who couldn’t be bothered to answer many questions before Congress, the body he was legally accountable to, but now he’s ready to “answer every question.” Does that strike you as a man of principle or a man of opportunity?
Despite what will likely be a severe lack of actual bombshells on Trump in this book, we have learned some new things about James Comey the past few days. These are revealed in two very telling quotes. One is from the book itself and another from the aforementioned interview.
To get there though, we need to rehash a little back story.
Understand that there was a time when James Comey was universally scorned by the right and for very good reason. His handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was disgraceful and outright corrupt. Comey’s FBI gave immunity to people for nothing in return and allowed destruction of evidence. They prosecuted none of the people who were caught lying to the FBI during the ordeal. They let Cheryl Mills (a subject of the investigation herself) act as Clinton’s lawyer during her interview. They didn’t tape nor transcribe it, which was obviously done so as to make it impossible to charge Hillary with lying to the FBI.
For Comey’s part, aside from being aware and responsible for all those actions, he started the exoneration process months before Clinton was even interviewed. Then, to capstone it all, he went on national TV and decided of his own volition to re-write a criminal statute in order to assert that Hillary could not be prosecuted.
If you believe all that was a coincidence, you may also believe Republicans are fiscally sane and Al Gore really does just want to save the planet.
Why do I bring all that back up? Because one of the things that supposedly proved Comey was a straight arrow was his re-opening of the Hillary case on Oct. 28th as the election neared.
Yeah, about that…
As for his controversial disclosure on Oct. 28, 2016, 11 days before the election, that the F.B.I. was reviewing more Clinton emails that might be pertinent to its earlier investigation, Comey notes here that he had assumed from media polling that Clinton was going to win. He has repeatedly asked himself, he writes, whether he was influenced by that assumption: “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”
First off, this is weasel language. Unless Mr. Comey lacks cognitive function, he knows exactly what influenced him and what didn’t. Given that he’s willing to even share this, it’s an extremely safe bet he’s revealing exactly what was motivating his actions.
The story we’ve been hearing up until this point goes something like this.
“Well, yeah, Comey didn’t handle the Hillary case properly but he was just doing his best to handle Loretta Lynch and since he re-opened the Hillary case a second time that proves that he wasn’t acting politically.”
We can kiss that narrative good bye.
We now see that his announcement of the investigation re-opening was not out of concern for the law. He had convinced himself (like everyone else) that Hillary Clinton could not lose. Given that, Comey was afraid the new discoveries might leak and harm her Presidency after she was elected. In other words, Comey was doing two things. Looking out for himself and looking out for Hillary Clinton.
This quote answers so many questions. There had always been a disconnect between his white-washing of Hillary’s case in the summer and the re-opening in October. Now we have, in his own words, strong evidence that it was all part of the same, congruent plan to protect who he thought would be the future President and by virtue, protect himself from the new boss.
“But I don’t know” he says. Of course he knows and that’s why you shouldn’t put much weight in his weak qualifiers. James Comey is admitting that he was making decisions based on political motivations.
That brings me to the second exchange. In his interview with ABC, Comey is quoted as saying this…
“Did you tell him that the Steele dossier had been financed by his political opponents?” ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos asked in an interview set to air this weekend.
“No. I didn’t,” Comey responded.
“But did he have a right to know that?” Stephanopoulos followed up.
“That it had been financed by his political opponents? I don’t know the answer to that,” Comey said.
He goes on to say that he didn’t feel like telling Trump was necessary to his “goal.”
I’ll answer Stephanopoulos’ question. Yes, the President of the United States has the right to know the origins of supposed intelligence that claims salacious things about him. Furthermore, when Trump asked Comey to search for evidence to the contrary, that would of been a pretty logical time for him to tell the President it was actually opposition research and unverified. Instead, Comey held that information back and misled him.
Why do that? I believe the answer is fairly simply.
Had he told Donald Trump the origins of the dossier, it would of given the President and his allies the ammunition they needed to counter the document from day one. Instead we spent the next six months with the public believing the dossier was real, verified FBI intelligence. Even after the dossier went public, Comey didn’t reveal the background to the President or the public, instead letting the blood letting in the media continue.
This tracks exactly with Comey’s refusal to correct the public record on Trump being a target of the Russia investigation. There was no logical reason for Comey to hold that information back, especially with how open he had been about the Hillary investigation. Yet, by doing so, it allowed the hysteria surrounding Trump and Russia to expand and damage the administration. It also provided leverage over the President on Comey’s part, or so he thought.
In the end, Trump called his bluff and fired him.
That’s led us to where we are now. A $10m book deal, a media blitz, and people who formally despised Comey now telling us we must listen to him as a truth teller.
James Comey has no credibily. James Comey was not a righteous or virtuous public official. He was corrupt, he was political, and most of all, he was constantly maneuvering to protect himself. These exchanges expose exactly the kind of person he is. He is as cunning and manipulative as he is unethical.
Trump did indeed make a mistake with his firing of James Comey. This mistake was not doing it sooner.