Former FBI Director James Comey sat down for a remarkable interview on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” this week. The interview was able to evade any mention of the findings of misconduct and false statements made by Comey. It was impressive how in a target rich environment CNN was still able to hit the small spaces between the scandals.
Cooper cut to the chase and raised the current campaign for president. Comey did not disappoint and declared Trump a “threat to the rule of law.”
I do not object to Comey voicing such an opinion. Comey then went further to declare that the GOP was now a “cult” and held forth on the need to protect the rule of law against political bias.
For those of us who have been long critics of Comey, the interview was almost a mocking parody.
Comey recently celebrated the indictment of Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg despite even some liberal experts denouncing the charges as a political prosecution. The political weaponization of the criminal justice system was declared by Comey to be “a good day.”
The former FBI director, who has been teaching and speaking on government ethics, joined others in celebrating the upcoming arrest of Trump because nothing says “ethical leadership” like a patently political prosecution.
Comey declined to prosecute Hillary Clinton on her email scandal despite finding that she violated federal rules and handled classified material “carelessly.”
He declared, “Ethical leaders lead by seeing above the short term, above the urgent or the partisan, and with a higher loyalty to lasting values, most importantly the truth.”
Yet now Comey is heralding a raw political prosecution.
Cooper also did not ask Comey about the blistering report of Special Counsel John Durham on the repeated failure of his own leadership in pushing an investigation without sufficient evidence. Under his leadership, the FBI took a false Russian collusion theory pushed by the Clinton campaign and continued the investigation despite early refutation of the underlying sources and claims. That included warnings from American intelligence that the agency was using suspected Russian disinformation funneled through the Clinton campaign.
During the Sussmann trial, it was revealed that an agent told colleagues that FBI leadership, including then-Director James Comey, was “fired up” about the alleged secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. That was also a false allegation created and pushed by the Clinton campaign.
It was Comey who was fired after former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cited him for “serious mistakes” and violating “his obligation to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the traditions of the Department and the FBI.”
It was Comey who violated federal laws and removed FBI material (including reported classified material) after being fired and then leaked information to the media.
None of that was relevant to an interview on allegations of misconduct at the FBI and protecting the rule of law.
It was akin to interviewing Joseph Hazelwood on good maritime practices without mentioning the Exxon Valdez.
For Comey, it was just another “good day” in the media.