James Comey's forked tongue goes into overdrive
With the Russia collusion issue falling apart and winding down, fired former FBI director James Comey is now speaking out against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh through the New York Times' editorial page. Characteristic for him, he's speaking with a forked tongue, playing Mister Probity to disguise his real aim of undercutting President Trump.
It's obnoxious stuff, given that it involves piling on against Kavanaugh, but hey, anything to Get Trump and return from the wilderness of irrelevance.
Comey starts with this supposedly innocuous opener before showing his hand.
The F.B.I. is back in the middle of it. When we were handed the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2015, the bureau's deputy director said to me, "You know you are totally screwed, right?" He meant that, in a viciously polarized political environment, one side was sure to be furious with the outcome. Sure enough, I saw a tweet declaring me "a political hack," although the author added, tongue in cheek: "I just can't figure out which side."
And those were the good old days. President Trump's decision to order a one-week investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, comes in a time of almost indescribable pain and anger, lies and attacks.
Here's Comey, trying to make you think he's Mr. Objectivity with one hand and pulling a fast one for the lefties with the other.
In other words, he would have you think the FBI is this objective outfit, just looking for the facts, ma'am, even after the amazing revelations of the Comey bureau's Deep State politicking.
Then we get right down to his real complaint:
We live in a world where the president routinely attacks the F.B.I. because he fears its work. He calls for his enemies to be prosecuted and his friends freed. We also live in a world where a sitting federal judge channels the president by shouting attacks at the Senate committee considering his nomination and demanding to know if a respected senator has ever passed out from drinking.
Whoa! Channels the president? Kavanaugh channels the president by defending his honor? Kavanaugh, the man with the spotless, six-times-FBI-certified clean record? Hit by a barrage of false – and out of the blue – charges, cooked up with suspicious involvement of Democratic and left-wing political operatives? And now to defend one's honor and long record of honesty from false charges is channeling Trump? That's some logic. Trump, recall, never denied the bad behavior he was accused of – we all know it happened, and he hasn't lied about it. But Kavanaugh is another story, because as Comey's own FBI back in his day certified, he's never engaged in sexual assaults. Would Comey care to answer some questions about why the FBI clearance process is so flawed, given that Comey thinks a seventh FBI investigation of Kavanaugh under an FBI director who's not he will turn up something different? Is he saying he ran a corruption racket and all the security clearances the FBI approved earlier under his leadership were tainted?
What an (unprintable).
After that, Comey takes a shot at Republican voters. The mask begins to fall off:
Most disturbingly, we live in a world where millions of Republicans and their representatives think nearly everything in the previous paragraph is O.K.
After that, Comey warns Republicans that the FBI will come up with something with which to Get Kavanaugh:
Although the process is deeply flawed, and apparently designed to thwart the fact-gathering process, the F.B.I. is up for this. It's not as hard as Republicans hope it will be.
F.B.I. agents are experts at interviewing people and quickly dispatching leads to their colleagues around the world to follow with additional interviews. Unless limited in some way by the Trump administration, they can speak to scores of people in a few days, if necessary.
They will confront people with testimony and other accounts, testing them and pushing them in a professional way. Agents have much better nonsense detectors than partisans, because they aren't starting with a conclusion.
Not starting with a conclusion? Tell that to Peter Strzok. The FBI has gotten rather famous under the Comey directorate for finding a crime first and then scaring up some evidence to claim that it holds water.
He makes it clear they will get something on Kavanaugh, but not his accuser.
Yes, the alleged incident occurred 36 years ago. But F.B.I. agents know time has very little to do with memory. They know every married person remembers the weather on their wedding day, no matter how long ago. Significance drives memory. They also know that little lies point to bigger lies. They know that obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a flashing signal to dig deeper.
Notice how Comey excuses the accuser for having a bad memory and then says any haziness of memory from Kavanaugh is proof he's lying about much bigger things. Double standard? Of course: This is Comey.
Once the fix is in, Comey makes his conclusions about what Trump "will" do, yet he doesn't extend the same certainty to Democrats:
It is idiotic to put a shot clock on the F.B.I. But it is better to give professionals seven days to find facts than have no professional investigation at all. When the week is up, one team (and maybe both) will be angry at the F.B.I. The president will condemn the bureau for being a corrupt nest of Clinton-lovers if they turn up bad facts. Maybe Democrats will similarly condemn agents as Trumpists if they don't.
The mask slips further about Comey's partisan leanings.
What he seems to be saying is that his lefty Deep State operatives are still in power at the FBI, and never mind those previous six background checks Kavanaugh had before this current fiasco. Those Comey loyalists will pin something on him.
Whether they do is another question, but obviously, Comey thinks they remain loyal to him and will do something about Kavanaugh to hit Trump and his deplorable Republican voters, now that they can't pin any Russian collusion on President Trump.
It's a creepy, creepy message to telegraph, and one can only hope he's wrong. If so, he remains the irrelevant weasel he always was, speaking with dishonestly packaged intentions.