It was the best of James, it was the worst of James, it was the age of honor, it was the age of corruption, it was the epoch of truth, it was the epoch of lies, it was the season of Clinton, it was the season of Trump, it was the spring of Democrats, it was the winter of Republicans.
In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. But, what are we to comparing? James Comey, the lion of the FBI, a man of justice and honor, versus James Comey, a man of politics and incompetence.
You see, since the investigation into the Clinton Email Scandal began, we have been told of two Comeys – both of them reared their heads when Comey publicly announced he would not seek an indictment of Hillary Clinton as he laid out the very reasons why he should. Republicans saw the Comey of politics and incompetence, while the Democrats saw the Comey of justice and honor.
Then, Comey sent a letter to Congress indicating the investigation had been re-opened. It was a letter that so upset the Democrats that they saw what the Republicans saw… while the Republicans began to see Comey as the Democrats had previously seen him.
James Comey, in the days leading up to the 2017 election, was trusted and liked by neither political party. He was a man who was cast into shadow.
Then, lo and behold, the Democrats had need of him again as the FBI began looking into any possible connection between Russian influence in the election and Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump insisted Comey told him that he wasn’t under FBI investigation, but also grew furious that Comey wouldn’t say so publicly.
The Democrats, who have been victims of some new post traumatic election disorder, still did not trust Comey, but they could use him… even after Trump fired him. He became a man who was at the center of the Great Russian Conspiracy. A man who could tie everything together… or at least keep things in question long enough for their party of capitalize on the so-called scandal.
And so, James Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday and spoke like a man who had been involved with law enforcement for many years coupled with a man who longed to stay a part of the Washington D.C. scene. He spoke with the verbal precision one would expect from a seasoned politician and the legal expertise of a man who led the FBI.
He left both sides wanting more. The Republicans clearly want the Russia investigation to be over – it threatens their own re-elections, you see – and the Democrats want Comey to publicly admit that there is something still to be discovered.
He provided them neither, and so gained no new affections.
But, we knew coming in what Comey would say, what he would speak about, and what he would leave unsaid. Sure, the Republicans and the Democrats walk away publicly claiming that Comey proved them right, but this is only after they spent months telling us Comey was a man who could not be trusted.
In the end, the biggest political event in the United States was a dud. We got nothing new from the hearing. We no longer have two Comeys, but just one. He is a Comey who has nothing left to give us (not because he doesn’t have anything, but because he won’t give up anything).
Meanwhile, the wound of a Russian investigation is still open and left festering. We won’t hear the end of it. But, anyone who expected there to be an end to it clearly hasn’t been paying attention to the political scene leading up to this day.