Comey’s Dishonest Spin Is Going Nowhere

December 17, 2019 Updated: December 18, 2019
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Commentary

In his recent interview on “Fox News Sunday,” former FBI Director James Comey lied, distorted the truth, and dodged question after question in an effort to obfuscate his culpability for the FBI’s biased investigations of the Trump campaign.

A zebra can’t change its stripes.

Ever since being fired for his mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Comey has played a leading role within the anti-Trump resistance. Like other disgraced Obama administration officials, Comey has written a book, made television appearances, and gone on the speaking circuit—all with the intention of promoting himself and attacking President Donald Trump.

In those endeavors, Comey leveraged his experience as FBI director to bash the president and fan the impeachment flames. Comey falsely claimed firsthand knowledge of “corruption” and Trump’s connection to the Russian government, only to be refuted by the Mueller report. He amplified the left’s hysterical smears against the president, claiming that he and the FBI agents in his charge had “a higher loyalty” and acted to defend the Constitution.

For the past three years, Comey has been arrogant, deceitful, and unprofessional. He was no different during his interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

Comey appeared on the program to answer some questions about his role in the bombshell revelations contained in the Horowitz report, which revealed that the FBI had deeply sullied its reputation by manipulating information in order to spy on U.S. citizens and surveil the Trump campaign.

But instead of giving American citizens a substantive account of events, Comey spent the bulk of the interview trying to put the Horowitz report through the spin cycle and distance himself from its troubling findings. He presented himself as a concerned public servant, disavowing responsibility for the massive scandal that happened under his leadership.

“The Inspector General did not find misconduct by FBI personnel, did not find political bias, did not find illegal conduct,” Comey insisted. “The inspector general found significant mistakes, and that is not something to sneeze at; that’s really important. But the American people—especially your viewers—need to realize, they were given false information about the FBI. It’s honest. It is not political. It is flawed.”

That would certainly conform to our hopes for the FBI, but as a characterization of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s findings, it’s simply false. Nothing in the Horowitz report could lead one to believe that the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign was fundamentally “honest”—that’s just Comey’s self-serving spin.

As Fox’s Wallace repeatedly pointed out, Horowitz didn’t clear the FBI of political bias. Rather, Horowitz outlined two possibilities, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee: “It’s unclear what the motivations were. On the one hand, gross incompetence, negligence. On the other hand, intentionality.”

It’s hard to say which of those two possibilities ought to frighten Americans more. Either Comey’s FBI was plagued by “gross incompetence,” while exercising extraordinary powers over U.S. citizens, or corrupt actors within the bureau’s leadership successfully targeted domestic political rivals with manipulated evidence. Either scenario would represent a disaster for the FBI and a damning indictment of Comey’s tenure as director.

But Comey didn’t seem to see the problem, telling Wallace that he wouldn’t have resigned in response to the Horowitz report if he were still director.

That’s the preening, self-righteous Comey we’ve gotten to know over the past three years. His act is getting harder and harder to believe, the more we learn about the extent of the FBI’s malfeasance during his tenure. Three years ago, after he illegally exonerated Hillary Clinton, I called Comey a dirty cop. He’s even dirtier today.

Joseph diGenova was U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and an independent counsel. He is the founding partner of diGenova & Toensing, LLP.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.