You know, gentle readers, this reminds me of another public figure whose memory of salient facts of their existence and work escaped them. Now who was that…oh yes: Hillary Clinton. I believe she and James Comey are, in some significant way, intertwined? Perhaps in the commission of crimes, and in lying about them? Corrupting essential federal agencies? Yes, I believe that was it. Filling in some blanks is former FBI Assistant Director Chris C. Swecker at Fox News:
The appearance of fired and disgraced FBI Director James Comey before two congressional committees Friday is a reminder of his brief but profoundly disappointing tenure leading the FBI – the outstanding law enforcement agency where I served for 24 years.
Unfortunately, members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were unable to get satisfactory answers from Comey regarding his illegal actions and violations of longstanding FBI and Justice Department regulations and procedures.
What Swecker apparently fails to understand is rules—and the law—are only for the little people, particularly the little people of no particular use to Democrats.
Comey flat-out refused to answer some questions dealing with the investigation now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Answering questions is for the little people.
Comey’s record of lawbreaking and violations dealt with prosecution judgments, media leaks, the theft of government records and the conduct of objective investigations.
It’s a tragedy in that Comey and his former inner circle – the now infamous troika of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page – have attempted to cloak themselves in the FBI’s rich tradition of fidelity, bravery, and integrity.
In reality, these four former FBI officials have done more to hinder the daily work of the 35,000 selfless and hardworking men and women of the FBI than anyone in the storied agency’s history.
Unlike current FBI Director Christopher Wray, Swecker has sufficient integrity to admit it’s reasonable to think the FBI corrupted and untrustworthy.
Unfortunately, no one can blame people for being skeptical of the FBI in light of the excruciating, Trump-hating texts during the 2016 presidential election campaign between Strzok and Page (who were engaged in an extramarital affair at the time), and following Comey’s well-publicized anti-Trump comments.
The former FBI director has written a book, given numerous media interviews, and used social media to bash President Trump, and urged Americans to “vote Democrat” before the midterm elections in November.
On top of this, there have been stark revelations in the Justice Department inspector general’s reports concerning former Deputy Director McCabe’s lies and leaks under the direct tutelage of Comey, who tried to make his own lies and leaks seem virtuous.
But why should we care? People understand that Comey, McCabe and their cadre of liars and criminals don’t represent the FBI. After all, they were just at the pinnacle of power. So what?
When FBI agents hit the street to conduct an investigation – and especially when trying to persuade people to provide needed information – their greatest asset is the respect and credibility of the FBI as an institution and the reputation of FBI agents for fairness and impartiality.
Juries that base their verdicts on FBI evidence and testimony trust that the scales were not tipped by the personal biases or political considerations of FBI agents and officials.
Ultimately, all any police officer really has is his or her reputation for integrity. Everyone must be able to believe their word, written or spoken, is the truth. Once that is gone, they are useless.
It is fundamental to our justice system that investigators do not also play the role of prosecutor. Yet instead of reporting the findings of the FBI investigation of Clinton to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch so Lynch could decide what action to take, Comey staged a news conference to announce that he had concluded Clinton should not be prosecuted.
If I had pulled the same stunt when I was head of FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division under then-Deputy Attorney General Comey, I would have – and should have – been suspended and fired. So much for the value of fidelity.
Swecker provides details on Comey’s crimes, and those of others. By all means, take the link and read his entire article.
From the cradle of the FBI Academy, FBI agents are taught to always maintain the confidentiality of investigations, sources and methods. Keeping a low profile goes with the job, so it’s unusual to see former FBI agents criticize FBI leadership.
Those of us who are speaking out now believe deeply that the agency where we served honorably should never become a tool to promote political agendas.
So why did Comey do it?
A thousand congressional hearings will never get Comey to admit what we all suspect: his personal hubris and feelings of moral superiority allowed him to believe the normal rules established by the American people through duly enacted laws, regulations and procedures did not apply to him.
We need to draw a clear distinction between the FBI as an institution of 35,000 dedicated professionals and Comey – a brief aberration in the bureau’s distinguished 110-year history.
Comey’s name should be forever removed from the roster of FBI employees who have embraced the core values of the FBI and who have wielded the enormous power of the justice system with impartiality and integrity.
Let me add just a bit more insight, gentle readers. I have never worked for the FBI, but have worked with FBI agents. Some have been regular people, working hard for the betterment of America. Far too many have been arrogant jerks, believing because they work for the FBI, they are superior in every way to lowly cops working in their communities. Their opinions of normal Americans are even lower. Understanding this, I have no difficulty accepting that Swecker is correct. People at the top of the FBI are always in great danger of succumbing to hubris, which in the classical Greek sense, leads to their own destruction and the destruction of everyone around them.
Comey’s multitude of claims—like Sgt. Hans Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes—to know nothing are particularly disturbing. If true, that can only mean he was completely incompetent as FBI Director, or that he is a liar, that integrity has no meaning for him. Consider that he has openly, even proudly, admitted he illegally leaked to an academic with the express purpose of getting a special prosecutor appointed to attack President Trump. Rod Rosentstein at the DOJ was only too happy to oblige him. He violated the law in an attempt to overturn the legitimate result of a presidential election. He clearly believes he is immune from prosecution, and thus far, he has been correct in this assumption.
Isn’t it possible Comey is being truthful? Consider that apart from higher salary, one of the primary reasons anyone wants to lead a law enforcement agency is power, and power comes from information. While it is true Comey could not be expected to know about a routine investigation carried out in the Omaha, Nebraska field office, to imagine he did not know every detail of any investigation involving a candidate for president, or of the president himself, is to ignore human nature and the nature of Washington politics.
Considering Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page and a handful of others at the top of the FBI and DOJ were intimately involved in carrying out these unlawful investigations, which included lying to the FISA Court, it is impossible to believe Comey knew virtually nothing about the substance of what was happening. Unless the FBI had been completely compromised by lower ranking agents who were running a shadow FBI without Comey’s knowledge, Comey had to know what was happening. A man with his ego would not be satisfied unless he was absolutely in control, which means intimate knowledge about, and control of, any such investigation.
One might also question how a man of such faltering memory could possibly have served in the Justice Department, and at the top of the FBI organizational chart.
Swecker is correct. Most FBI agents are honest people, but how does the normal American know how to separate the dishonest from the honest? Thanks to James Comey, they don’t, and the more he talks—or refuses to talk—that harder making that separation becomes.
The damage he and his anti-Trump partisans caused may never be repaired.