James Comey is a Long Time Republican Donor
It is time for everyone to stop giving Comey the benefit of the doubt-something I’ve noticed even a lot of Democrats on Twitter do. Is this an effect of Louise Mensch? While she does very good work on Russia, she is utterly convinced that Comey is on the side of angels-an assumption there is no basis for.
But it’s a very wide assumption. Lawrence O’Donnell’s analysis of Comey’s testimony got a lot right last night. As O’Donnell noted, Comey’s framing is utterly fallacious: I had a choice to reveal or conceal.
You mean like you continue to conceal the details of the Russia collusion investigation?
To make it about a choice between ‘reveal and conceal’ is much more pejorative than between following the rules of your own Bureau or breaking them-which you elected to do.
"Conceal" is a really cute shorthand for "follow the Department of Justice's longstanding rules and procedures."
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) May 3, 2017
Comey went on to say that anyone who criticizes him must put themselves in his shoes on October 28. O’Donnell rightly says it’s not a tough call: just follow the rules and procedures.
Comey’s claim that he did this to protect the integrity of the FBI doesn’t pass the laugh test. Basically he worried about the optics of looking like politics was involved by swinging the election. He thinks that had he said nothing that would have been the calamity. He doesn’t get that there is nothing worse than admitting his own actions may have decided the election.
So O’Donnell’s analysis was good. But then he weakens it by psychologizing Comey and insisting that the FBI Director didn’t mean anything by swinging the election. He did it out of the purest of motives. Certainly he’s no partisan.
Comey has this quite undeserved reputation of being independent and nonpartisan-no doubt why he got the job with Obama. It all stems back to his alleged stand with the Bush WH on wiretapping. While he did do the right thing there, just what he did has been overstated.
But how much should we really trust Comey on faith? When you look at the big picture, much less than is current conventional wisdom-even among many Democrats on Twitter.
I don’t take Comey’s explanations credulously. O’Donnell agrees he was wrong but just made ‘an honest mistake.’ Similarly Dana Milbank does the same thing-with an added twist of blaming Bill Clinton for saying hello to Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac.
“But there was something that rang true in Comey’s account. Dating back to his showdown at John Ashcroft’s hospital bed during the Bush administration, he has been the incorruptible exemplar of justice. “I have lived my whole life caring about the credibility and the integrity of the criminal-justice process,” he proclaimed Wednesday.”
Incorruptible exemplar of justice?! Will you gag me with a spoon now or later?
His time as FBI director, a position independent by design, no doubt reinforced his instincts. And after Bill Clinton climbed onto Lynch’s plane last year, Comey told the senators, he decided “the best chance of the American people believing in the system” was for him to go public.
Comey’s intervention ultimately did the justice system worse harm. But at least we now know why he did it.”
To quote the illegitimate Donald Trump: wrong answer.
That’s not why Comey did it.
There is also good reason to believe this is much more than an honest mistake on Comey’s part.
1. Comey is a a long time GOP partisan.
A) Whitewater alum who came up working for Ken Starr in the 1990s.
B) He then pursued Bill Clinton on Marc Rich pardon-pardons are meant for guilty people, incidentally.
C) He later criticized Eric Holder for not pursuing Clinton on Marc Rich.
D) Comey is also a significant GOP donor.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) May 3, 2017
E. In 2015 Comey came out as an advocate for the dubious notion of the Ferguson Effect, which held that you can’t be too tough on police misconduct in violating civil rights of minorities, etc.
Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that Jeff Sessions believes this too. Just a coincidence that Comey’s actions helped end the danger of the Ferguson Effect from the DOJ.
All this shows that you can’t rule out that Comey acted out of partisan interests out of hand.
2. Then there is the idea that Comey’s hand was forced.
Roger Stone seems to know a lot about why Comey wrote the Comey letter:
“Comey had no choice. The NYPD had and has a copy of the 650,000 emails. Comey’s statement, days before the election, that there’s nothing in there, is a bald-faced lie. This is just supposition, but I think the FBI director looked at the content and said they’re going to hang me if I don’t do something.”
So who are these folks who forced his hand? Stone seems to know who they are:
“Because the people who I suspect are leaking against the president are running these agencies and have authority. The leaks that have come out against Hillary are coming from the middle and lower levels of the agencies from people who see a political cover-up and want to thwart it. They are not the deep state. They don’t run anything. They just have information. They may have a political view, but they are not running the agency. They have no influence beyond their obtaining, or having access to, information.”
Rudy Giuliani is probably the guy who can tell us more about them:
“The other rumor that I get is that there’s a kind of revolution going on inside the FBI about the original conclusion [not to charge Clinton] being completely unjustified and almost a slap in the face to the FBI’s integrity,” said Giuliani. “I know that from former agents. I know that even from a few active agents.”
I also don’t think by any means the Democrats were tough enough in yesterday’s session.
Comey wasn't going to answer substantive questions about Russia in public. Senators should have focused on the closed Clinton investigation.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 3, 2017
(7) The result is that they chastised him ineptly rather than *grilling* him on a closed investigation he'd have to spill *everything* on.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 3, 2017
Speaking of ‘optics’ how’s this for optics?
2. Why didn't Comey recuse himself from Hillary email probe because of his old tussles with Bill Clinton, Holder? https://t.co/WT0URvNfrP
— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) May 3, 2017
Dems are in a catch 22 as Comey is certainly better than anyone Trump would bring in. But we really need an investigation of him and the entire email investigation sometime-if we do take House in 2018, this should be a top priority.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.