After being dismissed from the FBI on the recommendations from the leadership of the Department of Justice, James Comey began writing a book, hoping to cash in even further on his government ‘service.’ Part of the book is concerned with a memo that he wrote after a meeting with President Donald J. Trump, a memo which he claimed was unclassified. He even called the memo a “personal aid” for his memoir.
He explosively defended, in an interview with Fox News, the use of his memo, as well as giving it to a friend of his, a professor who worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on occasion, who leaked it to the press. He said it wasn’t ‘leaked’ because it wasn’t classified and was “like a diary,” perhaps hoping to fend off rumors of a grand jury concerning his history of leaking without approval.
Comey has a law degree from the University of Chicago; how could he ever think that he could just pass on what he pleased to the media and to ‘friends?’
For example, he claimed that his memo (which is not a direct word-for-word transcript) concerning his discussion with the President was not a ‘work product’ that he needed to submit for classification.
Instead, he thought of the memo, written about a work meeting with the President of the United States, as “like a diary.”
Someone in government cannot simply have conversations about likely classified content and then decide that they can write a ‘diary-like’ memo about it and seriously think that memo belongs to them to dispose of how they wish. In practice, that would completely undermine the point of having a classification system.
How did this man ever become the head of the FBI if he doesn’t understand the classification process and its purpose?
That’s not the only shocking claim that he made, however.
When pressed about the Strzok-Page texts, texts between two ‘special investigators’ that show fairly obvious political bias against the current President, he didn’t see anything wrong.
He said that he was disappointed in their conduct and in the texts they sent to each other, but he “never saw any bias.”
In another shocking portion of the interview, Comey was asked about the Steele dossier and who funded it. He refused to say that Democrats funded it at any point, but then claims, as certain, that Republicans funded the document.
Apparently, because they hired and fired Fusion GPS before Steele was hired, the document is somehow their responsibility in his eyes.
Most people in government and in the political world do not question the timeline of the Fusion GPS Steele dossier. A republican campaigning against the current president hired Fusion GPS for research into Donald Trump’s background, but then fired them.
Afterward, the Hillary Clinton campaign hired them through a law firm, and they produced, and paid for, the Steele dossier, which wound up in the hands of the FBI (where it was used to get a FISA warrant) and also wound up leaked to the media by Christopher Steele himself.
In other words, democrats paid for the document, not republicans.
In much of the interview, he was evasive, defending his own actions (or lack thereof).
For example, when asked about the ‘grossly negligent’ wording concerning the handling (or mishandling) of classified documents, he attempted to claim that it referred to a type of intent.
Gross negligence is generally held to refer to actions undertaken without any sort of intent, but rather poorly thought out. Actions that could be considered ‘grossly negligent’ include things like, removing classified communications from a closed government server and then holding them on a private server stored in a restroom.
He also defended what seemed to be his decision to leak numerous documents, working to get them to the media through a friend of his, a professor, who also had FBI clearance and occasionally worked with the agency.
It made sense that he would attempt to ‘clear the air’ and defend himself, his actions, and his reputation in these public venues, considering the rumors that a grand jury may be impaneled to indict him for leaking information to his friend without approval.
Comey’s book, ‘A Higher Loyalty,’ sold over 600,000 copies in the first week, and he certainly seems to be cashing in on his failings as an FBI Director. Since the release of the book, he has been touring the country, giving paid speeches.
His time as the director of the FBI was filled with questionable practices and outcomes, including his input on the Hillary Clinton email server investigation. It is interesting to see how little responsibility he continues to take for his part in what occurred at the FBI. Maybe there will be a reckoning for this failed leadership in a court room sometime in the future.