James Comey: The Cowering Inferno
Former FBI director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday suggests that the first question to FBI director nominee Christopher Wray at his Senate confirmation hearing should be: "Are you currently going through menopause?"
Comey said he was confused, uneasy, troubled, concerned, shocked, very disturbed, and stunned during his conversations with President Trump. The only missing menopausal symptoms are night sweats and weight gain.
Comey should have been sweating when he "woke up in the middle of the night" and decided to potentially violate federal law by using a close friend to leak contents of a government memo to a reporter at the New York Times, which Comey wrote while FBI director on an FBI computer while in an FBI car.
Comey's bombshell – that he's a leaker – came during questioning by Sen. Mark Warner:
I created records after conversations. I think I did it after each of our nine conversations. If I didn't, I did it for nearly all of them, especially the ones that were substantive.
Much of the media reaction to Comey's testimony, including some in the "fair and balanced" wing, began: "President Trump had a bad day."
Really? It's like a headline announcing that a guy was spared from an 11th-hour execution that reads: "Condemned Missed Traditional Last Meal."
Comey's angry, self-serving opinion of President Trump as a liar is the swamp "gospel" of self-evident "truth" by much of the spinner class. The real news – that Comey confirmed that Trump was never under investigation on Comey's watch, never interfered with the Russian investigation, and didn't order him to stop investigating Gen. Michael Flynn – is their "oh, yeah, by the way" subtext.
Comey admitted having "a queasy feeling" when he obeyed former attorney general Loretta Lynch's order to downplay the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton. She told him to call it a "matter," just as Clinton was spinning it.
That's the same Lynch who met with Bill Clinton in a plane on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport while his wife was under criminal investigation by Lynch's DOJ. Good thing for Lynch that Bill wasn't the Russian ambassador.
Comey's queasiness didn't prompt him to memorialize Lynch's instruction. He told Sen. Tom Cotton that he didn't record conversations or memos with the attorney general or any other senior member of the Obama administration.
Nor did Comey mention Lynch's order in his infamous July 2016 statement recommending against indictment of Clinton:
Although there is evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.
Comey made it his job to decide that Clinton shouldn't be charged with violating numerous federal laws after laying out the case for her indictment. But he told the Senate committee it wasn't his job to decide if Trump had obstructed justice.
Comey didn't cave to "pressure" from Trump. He didn't obey what he now perceives as Trump's "order" to drop the investigation of Gen. Flynn.
Comey said he didn't have the "presence of mind" to tell Trump it was inappropriate. He said he was not strong, not "captain courageous." Wonder Woman in need of hormones, possibly.
Yet Comey never considered resigning or telling the White House counsel about his feelings about Trump's "inappropriate" behavior. He did tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to leave him alone with Trump.
There's a headline AARP should be hyping to seniors everywhere: "Giant Terrorist Tracker Cowered by 70-Year-Old."
Comey said he leaked the contents of his record to the press because he "thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel." Contrast this with his stated desire not to instigate appointment of special counsel in the Clinton investigation. He didn't give it to Congress. He wanted special counsel on Trump's trail after admitting to the committee:
- Trump was never under investigation on his watch.
- It would have been legal to tell the public, as Trump had requested, that Trump wasn't under investigation.
- Trump told him that "if there are people in my circle that are, let's finish the investigation."
- At the time of their conversation, he didn't think that Trump had ordered him to "let [Gen. Michael] Flynn go."
- Post-firing, he now says it was an order – an order he didn't obey. That would be insubordination and grounds for firing.
- No "individual working for this administration, including the Justice Department," asked him to stop the Russian investigation. And he didn't.
This isn't the first time Comey tried to oust a top Republican, according to Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist. Davis quotes former attorney general Alberto Gonzales and others to counter Comey's version of events that allegedly transpired in then-attorney general John Ashcroft's hospital room in 2004.
In this account, Comey's actions showcase a duplicitous, secretive schemer whose true loyalties were not to the officials to whom he reported, but to partisan Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Comey gave a riveting account of the 2004 incident in his 2007 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding President George W. Bush's firing of U.S. attorneys – which, according to Davis, was orchestrated by none other than Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.):
Comey kept secret his pre-hearing planning with Schumer and his staff to maximize the fallout of the bomb he planned to drop on Gonzales and the Bush administration.
Chuck Schumer and James Comey scheming against Republican presidents?
Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.