Fired FBI Director James Comey suddenly has plenty to say, in a newly-released memoir and an upcoming ABC Sunday night prime-time infomercial--- I mean “news show”--- about the book. He spent five hours talking with George Stephanopolous, and now, lucky us! Thanks to the inevitable leaking, we’re already getting to learn how agonizing and challenging it was for someone with the sky-high ethical standards of Comey –- he adeptly rationalized all his own lying and leaking –- to work for someone so lacking in integrity that Comey compares him to a “mob boss.”
Never mind that if Trump really did behave like a mob boss, Comey would be awfully stupid to go on TV and travel around the country publicly dissing him to sell books. That would be way too risky, and, gosh, he’d end up having to spend the millions he’s making from his book on private security for the rest of his natural life. Or maybe he wouldn’t have even written the book after waking up with a horse’s head in his bed. If Trump were really like a mob boss, the smart thing for Comey to do would be to go into the Witness Protection Program and disappear from public life, which, come to think of it, would be nice for the rest of us as well.
But, no, he’s got too much to say. The timing couldn’t be better, because the Inspector General’s report on the FBI isn’t out yet, so if he hurries, he won’t be tasked with reconciling his book with Michael Horowitz’s findings. And though Democrats were furious at him for damaging (as they thought) Hillary’s Presidential chances days before the election –- never mind that he saved her from indictment with his nonsensical insistence that she didn’t “intend” to break the law –- they’re pretty much done with Hillary now and are more than willing to embrace Comey if he’s trashing Donald Trump. A source “present at the taping” with Stephanopolous told Axios that Comey “answered every question” and offered some new revelations that left the people in the room stunned.
This new openness on the part of Comey has led Byron York, in his column for the Washington Examiner, to wonder why he’s been less than forthcoming in the many months between his firing and his book release. The Senate Judiciary Committee requested in May of 2017 that he sit down with them and testify about the circumstances of his firing and the details of his dealings with the Trump and Obama administrations regarding the Trump/Russia and Hillary email investigations. Though he did sit down with the Senate Intelligence Committee for some other questions, he simply declined to speak to the Judiciary Committee at all. It’s the Judiciary Committee that has primary jurisdiction over the FBI.
The bipartisan leadership of the Committee wrote to Comey again about a week later, making the case for his testimony: “Given our role in considering the nomination of the next FBI director, the still unanswered questions from your last oversight hearing, and our role in oversight of the Justice Department and the FBI, your testimony will be essential for our constitutional duties.” They wanted to find out as much as they could about the Comey memos, which were unclassified or at a low level of classification, but that’s been difficult when the FBI has refused to let all but a few legislators see these sacred documents and even prohibited them from taking notes.
On June 1, Comey sent a terse response to the Judiciary Committee: “I have received the letter. As a private citizen now, I respectfully decline to answer the questions. Wishing you the best, Jim Comey.” According to Byron York, he has not exchanged a word with the committee since.
But he’s got a book to sell now, and suddenly this “private citizen” is demonstrating the gift of gab...with George Stephanopolous, Rachel Maddow, Stephen Colbert, and, of course, the ladies on “The View.”
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