James Comey, former FBI director, the shining icon for all those who plague the American body politic with anti-democratic, lying and corrupt government, along with their lapdog journalist honchos, is at it again.
Comey, who some suggest should forever hide in disgrace, pronounced on Oct. 26 that “the House [of Representatives] has no choice but to pursue an impeachment inquiry.”
This from the man who, by comparison, has turned the late J. Edgar Hoover into a saint-like public servant and who has to date chalked up a performance record that reads in small part:
- Lied when face-to-face with Donald Trump, both before and after the former businessman assumed the presidency, when Trump asked whether he was the subject of an FBI investigation.
- Plotted with his FBI underlings to entrap former national security advisor Michael Flynn, drive him from his White House position and leave him on the cusp of a term in federal prison for allegedly lying to FBI agents. (More about this is a forthcoming blog)
- Improperly purloined from his office safe memos he had written about his meetings with President Trump, said memos being the property of the government of the United States.
Comey Deserves Contempt, Not Praise
Rather than examine an entire litany of unethical, if not illegal, behavior that should warrant his disbarment, let’s briefly look at some of Comey’s actions during the “probe” of Hillary Clinton’s email server.
FACT: Prior to assuming her cabinet-level sinecure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton surreptitiously established a private email server, perhaps even two, in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home for use in all government email communications.
FACT: 18 U.S.C. § 1924: “Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. (a)Whoever, being an officer … of the United States, and, by virtue of his office … becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.”
QUESTION: Absent official paperwork, does the basement of a private residence in an affluent Westchester County community even remotely qualify as an authorized location?
ANSWER: In James Comey’s mind, yes, so long as its Hillary Clinton’s home.
Comey Grants Absolution To Clinton
According to Comey, in his July 5, 2016, nationally televised comments regarding the Hillary Clinton email server “matter” (the use of this word was mandated by Attorney General Loretta Lynch): “From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received.”
However, according to the FBI report made public on Sept. 2, 2016 and available at https://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton/Hillary%20R.%20Clinton%20Part%2001%20of%2036/view: “In furtherance of its investigation, the FBI acquired computer equipment and mobile devices, to include equipment associated with two separate e-mail server systems used by Clinton, and forensically reviewed the items to recover relevant evidence. In response to FBI requests for classification determinations in support of this investigation, US Intelligence Community (USIC) agencies determined that 81 e-mail chains, which FBI investigation determined were transmitted and stored on Clinton’s UNCLASSIFIED personal server systems, contained classified information ranging from CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET/SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAM levels at the time they were sent between 2009-2013. USIC agencies determined that 68 of these e-mail chains remain classified.”
In case you, the reader missed it, there were TWO separate e-mail systems involved!
So, what did the esteemed James Comey have to say to America on July 5, 2016. (https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system) Among other things:
- “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
- “None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff.
- “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
- “There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent.” [NB: In the opinion of many legal experts, intent does not enter into the picture under the relevant statute.]
- “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”
Comey’s use of the words in italics (inserted by author) were used to work around the wording of the relevant law and let Hillary off the hook.
Justice Department Inspector General Gives Comey Failing Grade
On June 14, 2018, Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general (OIG), released his report on various actions taken by the FBI and Justice Department in advance of the 2016 election in connection with the investigation (dubbed “Midyear Exam”) into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. (https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download)
Among the findings made by Horowitz:
- “Sally Yates [former deputy attorney general] told the OIG that, as a result of her discussions with Comey, she thought the Department and FBI would jointly announce any declination.”
- “Comey did not raise any of [his] concerns with [Attorney General Loretta] Lynch or Yates. Rather, unbeknownst to them, Comey began considering the possibility of an FBI-only public statement in late April and early May 2016.”
- “Comey’s initial draft statement … criticized Clinton’s handling of classified information as ‘grossly negligent.’ The description of Clinton’s handling of classified information was changed from ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless.’”
- “At one point [over the course of a two-month period, the evolving Comey draft] referenced Clinton’s use of her private email for an exchange with then President Obama while in the territory of a foreign adversary. This reference later was changed to ‘another senior government official’ and ultimately was omitted.”
- “Comey admitted that he concealed his intentions from the Department until the morning of his press conference on July 5, and instructed his staff to do the same, to make it impracticable for Department leadership to prevent him from delivering his statement. We found that it was extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to do so, and we found none of his reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established Department policies in a way intentionally designed to avoid supervision by Department leadership over his actions.”
- “We determined that Comey’s decision to make this statement was the result of his belief that only he had the ability to credibly and authoritatively convey the rationale for the decision to not seek charges against Clinton, and that he needed to hold the press conference to protect the FBI and the Department from the extraordinary harm that he believed would have resulted had he failed to do so.”
- We concluded that Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton’s unchaged conduct. We also found that Comey usurped the authority of the Attorney General, and inadequately and incompletely described the legal position of Department prosecutors.”
To top off the aforementioned, in August 2019, Horowitz released an investigative report of “Comey’s disclosure of sensitive investigative information and handling of certain memoranda.” (https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/o1902.pdf) The report stated:
- “Between Jan. 6, 2017, and April 11, 2017, while Comey was Director of the FBI, he memorialized seven one-on-one interactions that he had with President-elect and President Donald J. Trump. We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department [of Justice] and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”
Deputy Attorney General Gives Blistering Evaluation of Comey
Finally, on May 9, 2017, Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, submitted a memorandum to the attorney general, titled “Restoring public confidence in the FBI.” (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3711188-Rosenstein-letter-on-Comey-firing.html)
Here are several key quotes from the Rosenstein memorandum:
- “Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice.”
- “I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”
- “The Director was wrong to usurp that Attorney General’s authority … and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement.”
- “Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.”
And here is what should have been the coup de grâce to Comey’s sterilized reputation – pronounced by none other than the esteemed former Attorney General Eric Holder and as published in the Rosenstein memorandum:
- “Eric Holder, who served as deputy attorney general under President Clinton and attorney general under President Obama, said that the Director’s decision ‘was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season.’ Holder concluded that the Director ‘broke with these fundamental principles’ and ‘negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.’”
The Bottom Line
James Comey’s track record as FBI director is chock-full of professional blemishes, to put it mildly.
That he would make any pronouncement regarding impeachment is beyond belief except by those who know him or know about him.
However, what is absolutely astonishing is that those sages of virtue and truth in the media still suck up to him and Comey’s fellow deep-staters.
But watch out, James, because once the heat get high enough your fellow travelers are likely to throw you under the bus!