Author Topic: No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power By Jonathan Turley  (Read 226 times)

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No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power
By Jonathan Turley, opinion contributor — 12/15/18 10:00 AM EST

“I probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it.” Those words this week from former FBI Director James Comey could well be chiseled in marble as his epitaph. Comey was explaining yet another violation of bureau policy during his tenure as director.

What was shocking was not that Comey violated protocols or policies again but the reaction of the audience to his admission. In describing how he set up a critical meeting with President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, the audience was audibly thrilled by his cleverness in keeping Flynn unrepresented by legal counsel and unaware of the true nature of the meeting. Scheduled to testify to House members again next week, Comey may find a less rapturous reception in Congress.

In his interview, Nicole Wallace of NBC said, “It’s hard to imagine two FBI agents ending up in the State Room. How did that happen?” The audience erupted when Comey responded dryly, “I sent them.” What followed was even more revealing. He said, “Something we’ve, I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation, a more organized administration. In the George W. Bush administration, for example, or the Obama administration, two men that all of us, perhaps, have increased appreciation for over the last two years. In both of those administrations there was process. So if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel and there would be discussions and approvals and it would be there. I thought, ‘It’s early enough, let’s just send a couple of guys over.’”

Just send a couple of guys over. One line could not more aptly capture Comey and his own professed view of “ethical leadership.” The interview confirmed what some of us have written about Comey for more than two years. The media consistently reinforced his image as a rules driven and principled public servant, often referring to him as an almost naive Eagle Scout. (The Washington Post even ran the headline, “Boy Scout James Comey is no match for Donald Trump.”) Yet, Comey’s history shows both an overriding self-interest in his actions as well as a willingness to violate rules to achieve that interest. But his comments, including a call to defeat Trump in a “landslide” in the next election, have stripped away any remaining pretense. The fact is, there often was more pretense than principle in Comey’s final years as director.

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https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/421530-no-glory-in-james-comey-getting-away-with-his-abuse-of-fbi-power
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