With FBI Back in Spotlight, Comey Again Seeks to Extend His 15 Minutes of Fame

October 14, 2018 Updated: October 15, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey spilled more ink in the New York Times recently.

Comey, now a key figure in the Resist Trump movement, politicized the bureau during his tenure as director and continues to do so even after President Donald Trump fired him nearly 18 months ago.

Comey has published numerous opinion articles in the so-called paper of record since he was fired by Trump in May 2017, with each article more puzzling than the last. Comey, a longtime Republican, renounced his party affiliation in April, stating, “these people don’t represent anything I believe in.”

Americans “must vote for Democrats this fall,” Comey recently urged his Twitter followers. “History has its eyes on us,” he added, sanctimoniously.

In his most recent editorial, Comey again advances the Democrats’ agenda by weighing in on the Kavanaugh debacle. Comey’s article, titled “The FBI Can Do This,” advocated a thorough investigation into Kavanaugh’s accusers’ claims of sexual assault. Throughout the article, Comey patronizes his former colleagues and underlings while making some peculiar assertions.

Almost immediately, Comey accuses Trump of attacking the FBI “because he fears its work.” Perhaps Comey is being purposefully obtuse, as most Americans know by now that Trump attacks the FBI because the FBI, under Comey’s leadership, was so politically biased in favor of Hillary Clinton that the bureau weaponized surveillance tools to spy on Trump’s campaign and undermine his presidency.

Comey implies that Trump’s accusations of the bureau’s pro-Clinton bias are to blame for what Comey calls “a time of almost indescribable pain and anger, lies, and attacks.” Comey goes on to criticize the short one-week timeframe that senators allotted for a thorough investigation of the uncorroborated allegations against Kavanaugh.

“If truth were the only goal, there would be no clock,” Comey alleges.

The irony of that statement appears lost on the former director. In October 2016, three of Comey’s lieutenants were inexplicably able to comb through thousands of Clinton’s emails in a weekend. Comey’s FBI again determined Clinton had done nothing wrong, despite obvious and seemingly intentional mishandling of classified materials, which Comey conveniently called “extremely careless.”

Just two years ago, Comey and his FBI cronies discovered hundreds of thousands of emails on the laptop of Clinton associate Anthony Weiner. Many of those emails were inexplicably derived from Clinton’s private server. First, Comey and his lieutenant, Andrew McCabe, kept the Weiner bombshell a secret for a full month. Then, agents within the New York field office allegedly began leaking details, leaving Comey with no choice but to announce that the Clinton email investigation would be reopened. Democrats were apoplectic and called for Comey’s head for undermining Clinton’s candidacy just days before the November election. Just nine days after the discovery, Comey closed the case for a second time. The DOJ Inspector General found that the case had been mishandled and blasted Comey for being “insubordinate.”

Another ironic statement Comey made in his op-ed was his assertion that the FBI is more qualified to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh than Senate Judiciary investigators because FBI agents “aren’t starting with a conclusion.” Comey apparently missed the memo from sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell who said “no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case.”

Sound familiar? It was Comey who admitted that the Clinton exoneration letter was drafted before she had even been interviewed. It was Comey who controversially broke with DOJ protocol and announced in July 2016 that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case” against Clinton, despite the mountains of evidence of wrongdoing.

Yet another incongruous comment from Comey’s op-ed was his assertion that “time has very little to do with memory.” And that “significance drives memory.” The number of times Comey that and his FBI and DOJ associates have stated “they do not recall” some matter of significance is astounding.

Comey has a notorious ability to “forget” significant events. Comey famously couldn’t recall discussing the discovery of Clinton’s emails on Weiner’s laptop with McCabe. “I didn’t store that in any prominent place in my brain,” Comey told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “But how could that not be something you remember?” Stephanopoulos pushed back. Comey didn’t really clarify.

According to congressional testimonies, Comey and McCabe both have faulty recollections when it comes to McCabe’s decision to authorize agents to leak investigation details to the media. In Comey’s book, he again stated that he didn’t recall such conversations with McCabe. McCabe didn’t recall the meeting in his own office, where Peter Strzok and his mistress-colleague Lisa Page argued “there’s no way Trump becomes president,” according to their text messages. Strzok testified that he doesn’t recall sending Page a text that unequivocally confirmed his opinion that there would be no way Trump became president because “we’ll stop him.” The list of faulty recollections goes on and on.

Comey also says “little lies point to bigger lies.” Comey would know since he and his associates’ lack of candor was significant enough for the Republican National Committee to set up a website titled Lyincomey.com and was the specific reason McCabe was fired earlier this year, among other FBI and DOJ firings or departures. To this day, Comey expects us to believe that he did not know that Weiner was married to Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin. Comey expects us to believe that he still isn’t aware that Team Clinton funded the infamous anti-Trump Steele dossier. Comey’s op-ed is, thus, a textbook example of cognitive dissonance or, more likely, disingenuous projection.  

Ultimately, Comey reveals his undeniable bias when he concludes, without evidence, that Kavanaugh’s “obvious lies” about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a signal for the FBI to “dig deeper.”

Comey’s most recent hot take appears to be damage control for his own role in tarnishing the bureau’s reputation and an attempt to patronize his former colleagues and underlings. His desperation to damage Trump and apparent lack of self-awareness was, yet again, on full display.

Too bad for Comey. The FBI concluded its investigation, and previously undecided senators were satisfied there was no there, there. Several days later, on Oct. 6, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate (50–48) as the Supreme Court’s newest associate justice.

Robert Duffy is an investigative journalist who works for an organization that conducts government oversight. Given the sensitive nature of his continuing investigations, Duffy publishes under a pseudonym.