Former FBI Director James Comey is a smart man. He would have to be to run afoul of everyone he has ever convinced of his loyalty and come out on the other side — despite being fired and being scared for his family and being vilified in the press, all of which he has been — looking like the innocent man standing outside the partisan bickering, just trying to do good in the world.
If one defines “good” as “keeping James Comey looking clean despite his myriad connections to shifty circumstances and making a little money on the side” then Comey is, indeed, brilliant.
Unfortunately for Comey, there are those among his brethren in political circles that don’t define things the way he does, and they see little smart or good about his recent book or the interviews he’s been giving lately to promote it. And they certainly don’t see a man standing outside the partisan bickering.
“I can’t think of anyone who’s done a better job of politicizing the FBI than he has in the last 36 to 48 hours, by talking about tanning bed goggles and the length of a tie,” Outgoing Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said on Fox News Friday. “That is beneath the dignity of the offices that he held.”
Gowdy also wondered — and rightly so, given how cavalier Comey has been with his allegiances over the last several years — if the disgraced FBI director could have included classified information in his book (ultimately giving the intelligence community the benefit of the doubt that they vetted it).
“I’m really disappointed, whether or not the intelligence community vetted this book,” Gowdy said. “I hope he let them do it so he’s not disseminating classified information. My guess is he did.”
“But the writing of the book in general and then some of the things that he’s talking about are just frankly beneath the dignity of some really important offices he once held,” Gowdy finished.
No kidding (please do watch the Washington Examiner video at the link above. It’s a fair assessment of some of the more salacious and silly elements of Comey’s book).
James Comey: “I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don't know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013. It's possible, but I don't know.” https://t.co/PoTOTrxDLn
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 13, 2018
For a man that was far too concerned about the sensitive nature of his work to speak to Congress, he sure is flapping his gums now, as Byron York at the Washington Examiner points out:
Amid all the tantalizing promotional material, one line in the Axios report stood out. “Comey answered every question,” it said. Among the questions featured in the Stephanopoulos commercial: “Are there things that you know but haven’t said that could damage to President Trump?” and “Was President Trump obstructing justice?”
Comey’s promised openness is particularly tantalizing for some congressional investigators who have been trying unsuccessfully to get Comey to answer questions in the months since he was fired. The FBI has treated the Comey memos as if they are classified at the super-duper highest levels — they’re not, with some not being classified at all — and forbidden note-taking by the few lawmakers who have been allowed to see them. And as far as Comey sitting down with, say, the Senate Judiciary Committee as it investigates aspects of the Trump-Russia affair? Forget it.
James Comey is certainly a smart and good public servant to one member of the public almost exclusively: James Comey.