It is no secret that James Comey loathes President Donald Trump, along with all those who voted for him and who continue to support him. Did the former FBI director discover his hatred of Trump only after he was fired from his position atop the Bureau? Of course, he did not: He clearly hated the president back when Trump was campaigning for the White House – as did many of Comey’s senior officers. This fact should always be remembered when weighing the credibility of the entire Russia collusion investigation and when judging the character and patriotism of Comey himself.
It was under Comey’s leadership that the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a counterintelligence operation targeting Trump’s 2016 election team. It was then-Director Comey at the helm as FBI officials spun a nonexistent web of conspiracy between Trump’s advisers and Russian officials. It was Comey who arranged for classified FBI documents to be leaked to the media in order to trigger the appointment of a special counsel.
Comey in Perspective
Consider, then, how Comey oversaw the effort to prevent Trump’s election to the office of president. By his own admission, Comey broke the rules of his agency in order to spark the special counsel investigation – knowing it would be highly damaging to the president and to the whole nation. It is no distortion of the truth to suggest that the former FBI head was hoping the appointment of his mentor, Robert Mueller, would bring down the Trump administration and thus overturn the will of the American electorate.
This is what manner of man Comey is: He was entirely inadequate as the leader of the world’s premier law enforcement agency, he believed he had a right to overrule the democratic process, and – despite his personal delusion – he is no patriot.
On July 18, Comey once again publicly expressed his disdain for the president and for the tens of millions of Americans who support him. In a tweet about immigrants, the disgraced director wrote: “We treasure our identity as a nation of immigrants. With our voices and our 2020 votes, we must send Donald Trump and his mob back to their dark corner.” Yes, this paragon of virtue and values describes half the nation as a “mob” that belongs in a dark corner. Given his contempt for a large section of the American people, it is chilling to think of the power Comey once held.
Comey has a lot in common with another shady character whose Trump derangement syndrome turned him into a raving lunatic: Michael Avenatti, aka the creepy porn lawyer. He also saw himself as morally superior to everybody else; like Comey, Avenatti probably suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and is consumed by a ravenous appetite for publicity and an obsession with his own public image – the burnishment of which drives him to say what he believes people want to hear him say, regardless of facts or reality.
Though not yet a matter of record, a federal indictment may await Comey. Former Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Gen. Michael Flynn both faced federal charges for lesser crimes than those to which Comey has already confessed. Sensing the storm approaching, perhaps, the former Bureau official is trying to put his own spin on Mueller’s final report.
Comey’s Pointless Questions for Mueller
On July 19, Lawfare published a list of questions Comey would ask Mueller were he a congressman at the hearing. These are all closed questions, meaning that none is open to anything other than a yes or no answer and each one merely requires Mueller to confirm a finding already publicly available in his report.
What does this say about Comey? Two things: Firstly, that he has no more skill as an investigator than the average ten-year-old. Secondly, that he is someone who has no professional curiosity and no agenda other than cherry-picking what he considers to be the most incriminating sentences in the 400-plus page report.
The first seven of Comey’s questions dwell on contacts between individuals with ties to the Russian government and members of the Trump campaign team. Despite an extensive investigation into these contacts – most of which consisted of little more than brief messages or remarks sent or made in person to campaign advisers – Mueller concluded that no one connected to the Trump team conspired or cooperated with the Russians. These questions are therefore petulant and pointless.
As if that were not bad enough, Comey’s questions take for granted the veracity of Mueller’s findings. A number of conclusions laid out in the special counsel report are, however, flawed – if not complete distortions of the truth. In just one example, the special counsel practically accuses Ukrainian businessman and Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik of being a Russian spy. In fact, Kilimnik had for years been providing the US State Department and other Western governments with briefings on Russian and Ukrainian affairs.
This and other exculpatory evidence that Mueller surely must have uncovered was omitted from his final report. Merely forcing the former special counsel to confirm his findings is an exercise in futility.
Comey’s remaining questions deal with alleged obstruction of justice on the part of the president. But it should be remembered that Mueller stopped short of declaring that obstruction had, without any doubt, taken place. Once again Comey’s questions achieve nothing.
Since his dismissal, the former director has proven, with his every statement, that he oversaw an investigation mired in political partisanship – as further demonstrated by the text messages of former special agent Peter Strzok and former Bureau attorney Lisa Page. Almost every individual connected to the FBI’s Russia investigation and the special counsel probe – or both – was politically conflicted. Comey can suggest any number of supposedly incriminating questions, but he can never escape that fact, no more than he can whitewash his own misconduct and his rabid dislike of the president and his supporters. His claims of patriotism and desire to do only what is right for the country simply do not hold up in the spotlight of reality.