There is a perception, particularly in Washington, D.C., that former FBI Director James Comey was a man whose moral and ethical compasses were beyond reproach.
Then, there's the real James Comey, a guy we're only just starting to learn more about in the past 48 hours. And what we're learning should have you praying for President Donald Trump right now.
Wednesday night, former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller stated it was his belief that Comey has been trying to bring down the president since before the election. In an interview with The Washington Post, he suggested that the alleged memo about a request to drop the investigation into for former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was only the beginning of what will come out.
In the interview, Miller stated:
Look, there's one thing I agree with the president on: that Comey is a showboat. You just look at his actions in the [Hillary] Clinton case, where he made himself the central player when there was no reason for him to be the central player. That aside, his entire history shows that he likes to be at the center of attention. You look at the Ashcroft bedside incident where that unfolded in one of the most dramatic congressional hearings in history. And it was pretty clear at the time that that hearing had been pretty well planned by Comey and by Preet Bharara [former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, but at the time was counsel to Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is now Senate Minority Leader]—to uncover real wrongdoing by the Bush administration—but also to present Comey in a very favorable light. ...
[H]onestly, I think that's what he had in mind with his July press conference on the Clinton emails last year. I think he is a man of integrity, but he also thinks of himself very much as a man of integrity and likes the spotlight that highlights that. And he's going to enjoy the spotlight of a congressional hearing when he inevitably testifies. ...
We have no idea who made the decision to leak this, whether it was Comey himself or it was people at the FBI. And we don't know what their complete strategic goals are. But if you were really looking to damage the president, you wouldn't leak the most damaging memo first. So who knows what comes next?
Click here to read the entire interview. That congressional hearing involving former Attorney General John Ashcroft was the subject of an article written by Federalist co-founder Sean Davis, who wrote about it in far more detail, accessing behind-the-scenes insights from then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez, who later served as Attorney General.
"When I found out from our DOJ legislative liaison that Comey was testifying, I was surprised," Gonzales wrote after noting that Comey hadn't worked at DOJ for years when the U.S. attorneys were fired. "It was also odd that we had received no notice at DOJ regarding the appearance of one of the former members of our leadership team at a Senate hearing."
"I called the White House counsel Fred Fielding, and Fred confirmed that he had no prior notice of Comey's testimony either," Gonzales continued. "I was disappointed that the man who had been given so much in his legal career—appointed by President Bush as a U.S. attorney and then as deputy attorney general—did not even notify the White House or me in advance of his testimony."
"It felt to me that Jim's loyalty was more to his friend Preet Bharara and to Chuck Schumer," he wrote. ...
The narrative Comey provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee was riveting. But according to Gonzales, it didn't actually happen the way it was presented. And the conflicting details between Comey's and Gonzales' accounts, given Comey's current attempts to use his credibility and recollection of events witnessed only by himself to take down a Republican official, raise significant questions about the trustworthiness of Comey's current claims.
The memo story was a big subject on Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated talk radio program on Wednesday, as well. He devoted nearly his entire show to the topic, but specifically addressed the overall silence, so far, from the former FBI director.
By the way, can James Comey speak? I mean, he's got a voice, right? Why not address this? Why did he hold on to that memo? Look, if Comey's the law-and-order ethicist that he is reputed to be—and, remember, this guy has a reputation that is beyond reproach in Washington—he's just acquired it over the years, that this guy is Mr. Clean, this guy is Mr. Ethics.
Okay, so he's got this memo, he memorializes all of these meetings with bigwigs, to preserve the public record, to guard against people lying about the meeting and maybe about him, we suppose. Why hold on to that? If you've got a memo that destroys Donald Trump, even before Trump says anything—look, let's go to this dinner. Feb. 14, it's Valentine's Day, and let's imagine for a moment that this happened the way the New York Times and the Post want us to believe it.
Let's imagine that at dinner Donald Trump said, "You gotta stop this investigation. It's hurting me. You gotta dump it. You gotta get rid of it. I'll find a way to take care of you somehow. You've got to stop this. Let it go. Finish it. There's nothing here and you've got to stop this." 'Cause that's what they're alleging happened. That's what the media want you to think the Comey memo represents. Even though it's impossible to know. We, A, haven't seen the memo, number one. And number two, we do not know the context of the conversation at dinner which the memo supposedly memorializes.
So if this was that great an obstruction of justice, if what the media is alleging that Trump did is an impeachable offense, it is a high crime, it's a huge felony, it is Nixonian, it is a direct obstruction of justice and a violation of the Constitution. We are now at May 17—three months since that dinner. Why has Mr. Comey sat on it? Was he using it for potential blackmail?
Hey, if they're gonna ask it about everybody else, let's ask it about Comey. If Flynn was gonna be blackmailed, how about Comey? Was Comey gonna try to blackmail somebody? There's nothing to it, maybe. But this is supposedly a blockbuster memo that the Drive-Bys tell us can get Trump thrown out of office immediately, and yet for three months, it sat in somebody's computer hidden away as a digital file, because whoever has it doesn't think it's that big.
And Mr. Ethicist, why doesn't he announce the next day what the president tried to do to him? The president tried to subvert the Constitution, and he's not gonna let it happen, he's standing up, he's resigning. He can't work with somebody like Donald Trump. Where was that?
The radio host later added, quoting an article from FOX News Legal Analyst Gregg Jarrett:
"Three months ago, the then-FBI director met with President Trump. Following their private conversation, Comey" wrote a memo about it. "Good lawyers do that routinely. Now, only after Comey was fired, the memo magically surfaces in an inflammatory New York Times report[,] which alleges that Mr. Trump asked Comey to end the Michael Flynn investigation. Those who don't know the first thing about the law immediately began hurling words like 'obstruction of justice', 'high crimes and misdemeanors' and 'impeachment.'
"Typically, these people don't know what they don't know. Here is what we do know. Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the president of the United States. Failure to [inform the Department of Jusice] would result in criminal charges against Comey. (Title 18 U.S. Code 4 and Title 28 U.S. Code 1361) He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law" if he sat on news like this.
"So, if Comey believed Trump attempted to obstruct justice, did he comply with the law by reporting it to the DOJ? If not, it calls into question whether the events occurred as the Times reported it." Again, a reminder: Comey wrote his letter to Congress about reopening the Hillary investigation because he claims to be such a stickler for the letter of the law. Back to Gregg Jarrett: "Obstruction requires what's called 'specific intent' to interfere with a criminal case. If Comey concluded, however, that Trump's language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he has no duty under the law to report it because it does not rise to the level of specific intent.
"Thus, no crime. ... But by writing a memo, Comey has put himself in a box. If he now accuses the president of obstruction, he places himself in legal jeopardy for failing to promptly and properly report it. If he says it was merely an uncomfortable conversation, he clears the president of wrongdoing and sullies his own image as a guy who attempted to smear the man who fired him. Either way, James Comey comes out a loser. No matter. The media will hail him a hero. After all, he gave them a good story that was better than the truth." Well, just one thing about this.
All of it, I agree with, but what if Comey's not the leaker of his memo? This is why I've been asking: Does Comey have a voice? Why does Comey have to wait for a subpoena here to address this? None of this makes any sense!
Our president is under unprecedented attack from those who wish to cripple his administration and stop his agenda from being completed. We need to be praying for him right now.
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