The week of April 23, Former FBI Director James B. Comey has been all over television, tearing into President Donald Trump. He compared the president to a mob boss and went as far as to say that the man is “morally unfit” to be the commander in chief, among other things. These are all valid sentiments and Comey should continue to make them, given his mass influence as the former head of an intelligence agency. That being said, Comey is still a complicated, self-serving individual who made an inexplicable, unforgivable mistake that quite possibly altered the course of U.S. history.
Before anyone paints Comey as a hero, people should first revisit his costly mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. In the summer of 2016, back when Comey still had a job at the Department of Justice, he closed the probe on Clinton’s emails due to lack of evidence. However, he publicly chastised her and even questioned her judgment. Regardless, the matter was put to bed and Clinton managed to secure an enormous lead over Trump in the initial polls.
Afterward, Comey decided to write a letter to Congress just 11 days prior to the election, announcing that he was reopening the investigation, severely impacting her standings in the polls and potentially costing her the presidency. Comey cleared Clinton’s name for the second time a day before the election, but by then, the damage had already been done.
Clinton saw her lead in the polls begin to dwindle after the infamous letter and never fully recovered post-election. Meanwhile, the FBI has been investigating possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign since early July, yet there was strangely no mention of that from the agency’s director until well after the election. It is quite interesting that Comey, a professed Republican at the time, decided to send a letter to Congress informing them of his reopening of the fruitless investigation, while keeping the investigation into Trump’s campaign a well-guarded secret.
Things became even more peculiar upon Comey’s confession that his assumption of Clinton ultimately winning the 2016 election was “a factor” in determining his course of action. This is not the way an FBI director should behave. His statement implies that if the race was closer, he would not have sent the apology letter.
Shortly after the fiasco, Comey received his comeuppance when the president he helped put in office fired him for “Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server,” according to The New York Times. Trump would later admit and then deny that the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia factored some way into his decision. Comey was out of a job and the United States was stuck with a president that most Americans did not even vote for.
Now, Comey is back with a vengeance, insulting the president to no end and attempting to recapture the hearts of Trump haters everywhere. The man who had been silent for months has now re-emerged into the public spotlight — just in time to promote his new book. He is making the rounds on all of the talk shows.
Comey’s book dilutes substantive political dialogue and personal autobiography with childish insults about Trump’s orange skin and small hands. It is enough to write Comey off as a vengeful ex-employee, which is exactly what the GOP is scrambling to do. Comey is once again butchering his chance at doing the right thing. This time, it is hard to be surprised.
Comey is an opportunist who has waited until now to emerge from the woodwork solely to sell his book. His time away from the public eye has allowed him to transform himself from bumbling government employee who wrongly intervened in a presidential election, to a petty, pompous celebrity who has somehow achieved the nearly impossible political feat of being despised by both the left and right.
By trying to feud with Trump, Comey may have ultimately become like him. The passive-aggressive tweets, the immature personal digs, the overall incompetence at his position and the massive thirst for attention have thrust the former FBI director into rare company right alongside his arch enemy. As if swaying a national election and being fired in disgrace were not enough; Comey had to attempt his comeback as a Kardashian.
Comey is a man with the wrong intentions who has made colossal mistakes and now wants to be beloved by the public because he is trashing the man who fired him. Regardless of anyone’s opinion, one thing is for sure: Comey is bound to sell a lot of books.
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