Turley: "Comey Can No Longer Hide Destruction Caused At FBI"

Authored by Jonathan Turley, op-ed via TheHill.com,

James Comey once described his position in the Clinton investigation as being the victim of a “500-year flood.” The point of the analogy was that he was unwittingly carried away by events rather than directly causing much of the damage to the FBI. His “500-year flood” just collided with the 500-page report of the Justice Department inspector general (IG) Michael Horowitz. The IG sinks Comey’s narrative with a finding that he “deviated” from Justice Department rules and acted in open insubordination.

Rather than portraying Comey as carried away by his biblical flood, the report finds that he was the destructive force behind the controversy. The import of the report can be summed up in Comeyesque terms as the distinction between flotsam and jetsam. Comey portrayed the broken rules as mere flotsam, or debris that floats away after a shipwreck. The IG report suggests that this was really a case of jetsam, or rules intentionally tossed over the side by Comey to lighten his load. Comey’s jetsam included rules protecting the integrity and professionalism of his agency, as represented by his public comments on the Clinton investigation.

The IG report concludes, “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

The report will leave many unsatisfied and undeterred. Comey went from a persona non grata to a patron saint for many Clinton supporters. Comey, who has made millions of dollars with a tell-all book portraying himself as the paragon of “ethical leadership,” continues to maintain that he would take precisely the same actions again.

Ironically, Comey, fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and others, by their actions, just made it more difficult for special counsel Robert Mueller to prosecute Trump for obstruction. There is now a comprehensive conclusion by career investigators that Comey violated core agency rules and undermined the integrity of the FBI. In other words, there was ample reason to fire James Comey.

Had Trump fired Comey immediately upon taking office, there would be little question about his conduct warranting such termination. Instead, Trump waited to fire him and proceeded to make damaging statements about how the Russian investigation was on his mind at the time, as well as telling Russian diplomats the day after that the firing took “pressure off” him. Nevertheless, Mueller will have to acknowledge that there were solid, if not overwhelming, grounds to fire Comey.

To use the Comey firing now in an obstruction case, Mueller will have to assume that the firing of an “insubordinate” official was done for the wrong reason. Horowitz faced precisely this same problem in his review and refused to make such assumptions about Comey and others. The IG report found additional emails showing a political bias against Trump and again featuring the relationship of Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page. In one exchange, Page again sought reassurance from Strzok, who was a critical player in the investigations of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, that Trump is “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok responded, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The IG noted that some of these shocking emails occurred at that point in October 2016 when the FBI was dragging its feet on the Clinton email investigation and Strzok was a critical player in that investigation. The IG concluded that bias was reflected in that part of the investigation with regard to Strzok and his role. Notably, the IG was in the same position as Mueller: The IG admits that the Strzok-Page emails “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” This includes the decision by Strzok to prioritize the Russian investigation over the Clinton investigation. The IG states that “[w]e concluded that we did not have confidence that this decision by Strzok was free from bias.”

However, rather than assume motivations, the IG concluded that it could not “find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions.” Thus, there was bias reflected in the statements of key investigatory figures like Strzok but there were also objective alternative reasons for the actions taken by the FBI. That is precisely the argument of Trump on the Comey firing. While he may have harbored animus toward Comey or made disconcerting statements, the act of firing Comey can be justified on Comey’s own misconduct as opposed to assumptions about his motives.

Many of us who have criticized Comey in the past, including former Republican and Democratic Justice Department officials, have not alleged a political bias. As noted by the IG report, Comey’s actions did not benefit the FBI or Justice Department but, rather, caused untold harm to those institutions. The actions benefited Comey as he tried to lighten his load in heading into a new administration. It was the same motive that led Comey to improperly remove FBI memos and then leak information to the media after he was fired by Trump. It was jetsam thrown overboard intentionally by Comey to save himself, not his agency.

The Horowitz report is characteristically balanced. It finds evidence of political bias among key FBI officials against Trump and criticizes officials in giving the investigation of Trump priority over the investigation of Clinton. However, it could not find conclusive evidence that such political bias was the sole reason for the actions taken in the investigation. The question is whether those supporting the inspector general in reaching such conclusions would support the same approach by the special counsel when the subject is not Comey but Trump.

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Comments

GeezerGeek pc_babe Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:20 Permalink

Comey is simply two-legged pond scum. He did what he thought would preserve his privileged position. No way a POS like him would go against the wishes of Barry, Loretta and Hillary. The question I have is this: were those three acting in concert to beat Trump or did Barry direct Jimmy to do in Hillary with that late-stage reopening of the inquiry? Barry would have hated to have Hillary replace him, because - if she actually lived through it - she would probably have reduced him to a minor historical footnote. His ego couldn't handle that. Heck, I wouldn't even exclude the possibility that Bubba's meeting with Loretta, perhaps including a phone call with Barry, was about keeping Hillary out of the White House. It might have cramped Bubba's style, being first dude and all and under close scrutiny.

In reply to by pc_babe

Keyser GeezerGeek Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:22 Permalink

Although damning in many respects, the IG's report falls short in identifying prosecutable actions on the part of FbI / DoJ officials... There may be some firings, but that's about it... Comey will get to skate with the $$$ from his book tour / Trump bashing tour, Stroczk and Page sail off into the sunset and likely go to work for some Dim think tank, the rank and file all go back to work thinking, phew, that one was close... McCabe is going to be the poster child that gets the stick, while at the same time the underlying bias in these two agencies will continue unabated... 

In reply to by GeezerGeek

MK ULTRA Alpha y3maxx Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

The FBI takes bribes from the media for secret insider information and used the media connections for disinformation to twist the narrative for Clinton. Hundreds of interactions with MSM, bribes being handed out. These jerks must feel their power to be the unnamed sources, looks like they've dug their own grave. Literally hundreds of contacts, recorded bribes and an extreme close relation with CNN and New York Times. This is the source of all the disinformation, lies, rumors and destruction to our nation. The FBI is the enemy with their unlawful alliance with communist and homosexuals in the media. I wonder how many FBI agents are communist and homosexuals?

The key in all this is the political slush fund of over a $100 billion which everyone ignores, the Clinton Foundation will make or break politicians for a corrupt elitist communist agenda for the next generation. It's being protected from investigation because of the previous crimes of Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, and who knows how many others. The Clinton Foundation was bribed by foreigners for access, favors and the plan to use the money to take over the US government.

Uranium One is just one covert operation which ensnares all of these opportunist. The Haitian relief money, remember Bush II sat right next to Clinton stating the reason or his purpose was to prevent the Haitian money from being stolen. That was on national full throated MSM. Are there murders connected to the Clinton Foundation? Considering Congresswoman Wasserman Shultz most likely ordered an FBI agent to look into Seth Rich, Pakistanis infiltrating the highest level of leadership, Iranian cocaine smuggling network the FBI was prepared to take down stopped by Obama because it would interfere with the Iran nuke deal. None of this is being added to the equation, incredible FBI and overall government corruption.

It's worse than a swamp, it's an army aligned against us with no honor, decency or even allegiance to this nation, only their gang, allegiance to an organization, a gang covering up to continue to do the same. Each agency of the federal government is of this culture, the break down in this country is apart of every aspect of the government.

How can anyone say we have a country anymore?

 

In reply to by y3maxx

rtb61 GeezerGeek Fri, 06/15/2018 - 02:52 Permalink

Comey is your typical corporate lawyer with a history of political activity, a thousand other similar corporate lawyer drones could have replaced him and done exactly the same job. All that rabbiting on main stream media did with Comey and nothing but a slimey shyster corporate lawyer, a full history of that crap.

How about this as a minimum in future, all FBI directors et at, must work their way through the ranks, a total ban on political corporate lawyer appointees. How the fuck can the top person in the FBI, not have ever been an FBI agent.

You know what coming next in the age of corruption, Generals and Admirals no longer through the ranks, but lawyer lobbyists selected by the politicians they elected, why not, good enough for the Fucking Bloody Idiots, why wont it work for the army, navy and airforce. Just put corporate lobbyists in charge of everything worked so well for the USA so far.

In reply to by GeezerGeek

LaugherNYC pc_babe Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:24 Permalink

Excellent piece, dexterously explaining the similarity between the IG's dilemma and Mueller's shot at obstruction.

If Mueller claims Trump obstructed, and must be prosecuted, Comey must be prosecuted.

Slow-walking an investigation resulting in no charges being filed despite clear evidence of multiple crimes -- I would call THAT clear obstruction. McCabe and Comey have conspired to try to dump this on Strzok. It would be funny if it weren't so despicable.

In reply to by pc_babe

Tarzan Zorba's idea Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:19 Permalink

The thing is, Trump was his boss, and if he decided the Russia coup was a waste of FBI time, he has every right to fire the head of the FBI, for continuing to waist time and money, purposely trying to undermine the election.

Remember, this is before there was a special counsel, and if after a year of investigating there's no there there, there sure as shit wasn't anything back then to investigate!

There is nothing illegal about the President telling Comey to knock it off, or else. 

He should tell the press what they want to here.  Of course the phony Russia scam played a part in getting Comey fired, rightfully so.  Then stand with his fist in the air shouting Fuck the Prestitutes!

For a year now, they've been in a search for something, anything, to investigate. 

He should fire Sessions, Rosenstein, and Mueller, TODAY, and watch their heads explode!

In reply to by Zorba's idea

Tarzan Captain Nemo d… Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:36 Permalink

There is an evil intent in all this, beyond the obvious.

Many believe WWG1WGA means, "Where we go one we go all".

A Ponzi always collapses the minute it stops growing, it's a 100% certainty.  From the start, ~100 years ago, the Oligarchs who gathered on Jekyll Island knew that their debt money would grow right up to the day it suddenly collapsed, and planned it with all it's allure, hooks, and traps, to consume everything, before that day, so that all would be in the same boat when it collapses.  They planned it to fail from the start.  It's a mutual suicide Trap, set up to consume the world, consolidate power, then collapse all the Nation's currencies in one fail swoop!

    For in a single hour such fabulous wealth has been destroyed!

They'll have their grand New World Order, and a knew single currency waiting in the wings, to rescue the useful idiots from the disaster they've planned.

They'll attempt to number us all, track everything, and dictate how you buy and sell - through them of course.   But not just what you buy with, but what you buy, who you buy from, how much you buy, and how much you will pay!

That is their plan.  How far they'll get nobody knows.  I suspect they'll fail miserably, but the truth is, they're already a long way down this road.

In reply to by Captain Nemo d…

Implied Violins Captain Nemo d… Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:58 Permalink

FUCK this "Q" bullshit.  Anyone still bowing to this crap needs to read these articles and get their head on straight:

https://steemkr.com/qanon/@elizbethleavos/steemit-only-article-opinion-why-independent-media-voices-are-questioning-the-q-persona
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/05/28/wikileaks-calls-qanon-a-likely-pied-piper-operation/

It's just fourth generation warfare, meant to keep our butts on the couch because "someone else is doing the work".

NOT.

In reply to by Captain Nemo d…

swamp Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:17 Permalink

It did not just impact perception. 

It factually altered the FBI protocol. 

Comey was high on power of co-running the deep state and subverting justice and the Constitution. 

This is high treason, covering high crimes and attempting to unseat Trump at every juncture. 

RumpleShitzkin Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Time for grumbling about this online...is fucking OVER!

 

There are field offices near you. Locate them. Red pill friends, family and coworkers an organize. Share your feelings with these fucking assholes personally.

 

These people live among you. Remind them of that. 

bunnyswanson RumpleShitzkin Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:40 Permalink

Every town has a country club and if one cannot be a member, there are guest passes.  Tag along with them for 9 holes whenever possible, just to remind them how close you are to them.  I think they forget.  Make a list.  Create a plan.  Make it happen locally because they are very organized, funded, backed by loyal henchmen on the ground and in full throttle locally.

In reply to by RumpleShitzkin

Cabreado Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:44 Permalink

When Comey, Lynch, Clinton et al  do not find their way to prison...

the DOJ is still broken, as is Congress charged with oversight...

and so then,

the Rule of Law is still broken.

And so then what traitors and criminals are next...

when half the People do not give a damn.

Harvey's-Rabbi Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:49 Permalink

I don't believe that anything you read on the internet has anything to do with reality.  You would be better off spending the time growing your own food, avoiding women, and exercising within reason.  And pray that the chemtrails miss your home.

AsEasyAsPi Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:06 Permalink

Fidelity:  Strzock and Page

Bravery:  Comey, "I was afwaid of Trump"

Integrity:  Comey, Ohr, Strzock, McCabe, Page, Rosenstein, Mueller............

 

Yeeeeah right.

CashMcCall Fri, 06/15/2018 - 01:28 Permalink

This is nothing more than Trump's team trying to use the OLD OJ Defense which was to go after Mark Furman and claim he was a racist. But Trump basically comes up with nothing. Comey was not identified as biased by the Special Master. It is irrelevant whether some or all FBI agents opposed Trump's election. Unless there is manifest evidence of FBI obstruction of Justice which wouldn't help Trump anyway, then the issue has no merits on any grounds. This is just another Trump distraction from the key point which is whether Trump's Campaign engaged Russia in activity that was prohibited by Obama Russian Sanctions. Since the answer to that appears to be yes for several Trump campaign staffers the final question is, did Trump know about it. 

Trump says he did not have a sexual relationship with Stormy or McDougal. He says he did not know about payments to Stormy. He later retracted that. He says the Billy Bush Tape was a fake tape. So how much of Trump do you trust? Not much. As a micromanager, it is likely that Trump supported the actions of his staff in regard to Russia. 

shrimpythai Fri, 06/15/2018 - 01:45 Permalink

yah and when-where is the Clinton Foundation investigation - the Anthony Wiener -Dick laptop - CF Haiti millions gone missing - uranium One bribe moolah of 135 million and bubba's $500,000 russian speech money - and allthe other stuff the guy did that video about Clinton's corruption - forget the the name at the moment

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/03/20/cinton_cash_author_p…

ah yes - Clinton Cash by Peter Schweitzer - i watched it - totally good !