Cheap Seats 2018
Comey-tose - 02/07
By Rich Trzupek
Ex FBI Director James Comey and most of the left were not happy about the House Intelligence Committee’s decision to declassify what we are now calling the “Nunes memo” and President Trump’s approval of the move. For Comey and the MSM, the release was a disgraceful violation of the public trust and – by the way – the memo contained nothing that should lead anyone to believe the FBI did anything wrong.
Veteran readers may recall that I defended Comey’s decision not to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton for maintaining a private server on which she stored government emails, which was a clear and reckless violation of the law. In my view, Comey took a path that exposed Clinton’s recklessness and/or technological ignorance, something that I hoped voters would consider when election time came round. By not recommending actual prosecution, he avoided further fanning the flames of division that are burning so brightly in America today.
I stand by that column. I believe Hillary would have made a horrible President, but I’m glad it was the American voters, not the FBI, who ultimately acted to keep her out of the Oval Office.
That said, Comey’s self-serving attacks regarding the Nunes memo and the way the fawning MSM played those attacks up are simply embarrassing – to them. The following nonsense penned by CNN reporter Sophie Tatum is typical:
“The highly controversial memo alleges that then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee that no surveillance warrant would have been sought for a Trump campaign aide without a disputed opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia.”
No, that’s not what the memo said. The memo said that both Comey and McCabe failed to disclose to a FISA judge – on four separate occasions – that: 1) the so-called “Trump dossier” had been bought and paid for by a law firm tied to the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, 2) the author of the dossier, ex-British spook Christopher Steele was on the record as an avid Trump hater, and 3) the FBI knew about items one and two.
The law says that when going before a judge to obtain a surveillance warrant under FISA, the judge must be presented with “all material facts” related to the evidence used. He or she was not. We cannot know for sure that the judge who approved the warrant that allowed the government to spy on Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page would have done so had he or she been in possession of all material facts related to the Trump dossier. But, as the memo makes clear and neither Comey, nor his supporters in the MSM or Democrat Party have denied, the judge was not presented with those material facts that would have surely given a reasonable person reason to question the legitimacy of the Trump dossier.
So, you may be wondering, how does Comey justify his actions and McCabe’s actions? The answer is simple: At their core, they are not law enforcement officials, they’re bureaucrats. And, the plain truth is that a determined bureaucrat can figure out a way to justify whatever action he or she chooses to take or not take.
Comey knows he didn’t disclose everything he knew about the dossier and it’s source, but he convinced himself – as career bureaucrats so often do – that he was fulfilling his mission by not doing so. He was aided in this effort by the incredible complexity of the regulations and statutes that apply to bureaucratic behavior. I deal with this issue all the time in the day job. EPA rules are so complex, a regulator whose ultimate goal is to ensure a particular outcome can always justify his or her behavior by focusing on this part of the game and ignoring that part of it.
Comey’s hand-wringing, his “noble” defense of McCabe and his rather pathetic attempts to establish solidarity with the rank and file in the FBI are all classic symptoms of the lifelong bureaucrat retreating into “holier than thou” mode. Pop him in a skirt, let his hair grow out a bit and Comey would be indistinguishable from disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner.
To be sure, not all bureaucrats are as disingenuous and self-serving as characters like Comey and Lerner, but God help us when such people are put in positions of power.