On Oct. 28, 2013, President Barack Obama and James Comey participate in the installation ceremony for Mr. Comey as FBI director at the bureau’s Washington headquarters. PHOTO: CHARLES DHARAPAK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Fired, disgraced former FBI Director James Comey sure has chutzpah. He has mistaken Attorney General William Barr’s decision not to prosecute him for vindication. Following Thursday’s release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ surprise report which focused specifically on Comey, he feels that an apology is owed. Here is what he had to say:
And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me “going to jail” or being a “liar and a leaker”—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
DOJ IG "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
Far from exonerating Comey, the report found that he had engaged in a great deal of wrongdoing. My colleague, Bonchie, posted the details of Comey’s January 6, 2017 briefing of President-elect Trump, which was “almost certainly a trap” here.
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York explained that “the group’s plan was to spring a scandalous allegation on President-elect Trump, quickly record his reaction, use a prearranged secure videoconference to discuss the information, and fit it all into the FBI’s ongoing (but unknown to Trump) “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.” Read the whole article.
To me, their behavior sounds treasonous. The group’s actions were premeditated, disingenuous and subversive.
Additionally, the January briefing was not Comey’s only offense. The report discusses his mishandling of classified information, the leaked memos, his frequent leaks of other material and further violations of DOJ and FBI policies. The report says that Comey set “a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees.” It states:
Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees […] Were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director’s example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly.
More importantly is that the findings in this report are expected to pale in comparison to what is uncovered by the other two reports we’ve been waiting for. Sean Hannity called Thursday’s report the “tip of the iceberg” which is why the DOJ declined to prosecute.
The reports to follow, the IG’s main report on FISA abuse by the FBI and John Durham’s report on the origin of the Trump/Russia investigation, will provide a treasure trove of information. Hannity said that Comey will be playing a starring role in the FBI’s FISA court application process because he signed off on three of them. He speculated that Comey could be charged with premeditated fraud. Hannity told viewers:
The Durham report will dig into how the government’s powerful tools of intelligence were used and abused against President Trump’s campaign and then President Trump. And also, in fact, whether or not illegal spying occurred, the outsourcing of intelligence gathering to friendly countries like Italy, Great Britain and Australia, all designed to circumvent US laws against spying on Americans without a warrant for the purpose of destroying a duly elected president. That will be a bombshell. James Comey is also implicated in that particular case. We also wait to see what roles James Clapper and John Brennan played in all this.
All of this is to say that the misguided former FBI Director is claiming victory way too soon because it appears that he remains very much in legal jeopardy. The worst is yet to come.
Many in the political world were stunned by Comey’s tone deafness. Here are some of the reactions to his bizarre request for an apology.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel: “A curious request given the report’s bottom line was in fact this: “We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald: “Holy shit: the arrogance and self-regard of @Comey is unparalleled. The Inspector General from his own Department just issued a scathing report accusing him of wrongdoing so severe that it “shocked” his own colleagues & he’s demanding apologies instead of expressing contrition.”
Television host and author Dan Bongino: “Comey celebrating a report, which clearly lays out his ethical depravity and disregard for the rules of his employment, is the Comiest Comey thing ever. What a clown this guy is.”
Radio host Buck Sexton: “So James Comey was – it’s official now – a sanctimonious, self-righteous bureaucrat who believed in holding other people to standards that he himself was free to break when he saw fit. This should surprise no one.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “Now we know why Comey didn’t want to prosecute Clinton—he didn’t see a problem mishandling sensitive information. After clearing her, he did it too!…Comey, like Clinton, thinks he’s above the law.”
And, of course, President Trump: “Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just released Inspector General’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself!”
Too bad Trump can’t fire him again.