by Gary Fouse
Former FBI Director, James Comey, all 6’8″ of him, is on a book tour these days now that his book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, has been published. He is giving a series of interviews, the most noted of which was last week with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who was a press spokesman under President Bill Clinton.
Much in keeping with the self righteous title of his book, Comey is portraying himself as a man of moral rectitude caught in a swamp of dishonesty mostly on the part of President Trump.
First of all, I have not read the book, but I plan to. From what I have heard, it makes no case for Trump’s involvement in Russian collusion during the campaign, which is the basis for Robert Mueller’s investigation. What it appears to be is a hit piece against Trump and an attempt to save his own legacy, which was badly tarnished in the closing months of the campaign and the outrageous conclusion of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
As a former DEA agent, I naturally have several friends from law enforcement, active or retired. From what I have been told by my friends, Comey was well liked as director by the troops while his predecessor, Mueller, was not. Mueller was considered imperious by many. How much support Comey lost over his handling of the Clinton matter is hard to say.
While I don’t think Comey is an evil or corrupt person, I do think he found himself way over his head by the events of a presidential campaign featuring two candidates who were under investigation by the FBI. It was a unique situation, and it would have been most difficult for any director to handle it well. Comey did not handle it well.
First of all, he had people working directly under him, Andrew McCabe, for example, who were up to no good. The Clinton case was being handled by a select few high officials in HQS. As it was, the case was a whitewash. Comey was drafting his exoneration report months before Clinton was even interviewed. The interview itself was a joke. It was not recorded, she was not read her rights, and a couple of her “associates” who were also under investigation, were allowed to be in the room. Days later, Comey held his famous July press conference laying out a credible case for prosecution then announcing that no reasonable prosecutor would take the case to court. Then, days before voters went to the polls, he re-opened the case, then re-closed the case. It made him look ridiculous.
Between the Clinton investigation and the machinations against Trump by people like Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the FBI has been thoroughly embarrassed. Perhaps the worst of it all was when the FBI used a salacious and uncorroborated “dossier” paid for largely by the DNC and Clinton campaign, to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.
I do not lay the blame for all this on the rank and file. The blame has to go to the very top of the FBI and Comey was part of that. I can’t imagine that morale in the agency is very high.
In my view, Comey is not helping his cause by writing this book. How unseemly for a former FBI director putting out a book to save his reputation and go on a book tour with TV interviews and all. James Comey, all 6’8″ of him, is looking smaller by the day.