Former FBI Director James Comey’s soon to be released book is everyone’s favorite topic of conversation, especially now that so many excerpts have been published. ABC News is heavily promoting his interview with George Stephanopoulos’ interview pre-taped and set to be aired Sunday night. The most interesting point, to me, is that neither Republicans or Democrats have much good to say about him anymore. He’s brought a divided country together! Now, as Republicans trash Comey, a common retort from Democrats is to say, well, Comey is a lifelong Republican. They ask how can Republicans criticize him? For the record, Comey is no longer a registered Republican.
My, my. How James Comey has fallen. Not so long ago, Comey was praised for his professionalism and his reputation for ethical behavior. He was the beneficiary of bi-partisan support when he was nominated to be FBI director. The vote in the Senate was 93-1 in 2013. Only Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against him. Interesting tidbit: that no vote made Paul the first senator to vote no on an FBI director nomination since 1972. Paul is a Republican.
He was the deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration who famously rushed to the bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft back in 2004 in order to stop the Bush administration’s pressure on Ashcroft to re-authorize the post-9/11/01 domestic surveillance program. As this episode was incorporated into a Senate hearing over the firing of U.S. Attorneys, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) ridiculously referred to Bush’s firing of eight Attorneys General as a “Saturday Night Massacre.” Now deceased, Specter was known for lobbing some Republican on Republican violence whenever possible. It isn’t a new thing.
Comey got sideways with Democrats when he released his finding of additional emails pertinent to an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails while Secretary of State. Given that he did this at the end of October 2016 and the national election was set for November 8, 2016, Democrats blamed Comey for costing them the election. At that time Trump and Republicans jumped on the opportunity to praise Comey.
I always thought that Comey imagined a superhero’s cape under his suit. He prided himself as a man of principle. Now that he has fallen from grace, he is on a mission to rehabilitate his reputation and make a few million dollars along the way. He’s cashing in. Frankly, he is showing his true character. Already tarnished by his own admission during congressional hearings that he stole documents and leaked to a friend with the ability to get the documents into the press, it is Comey that is now called a liar. He is no longer praised by Republicans.
To think that Republicans don’t go after other Republicans totally denies the Never Trump movement While most Republicans have come around to supporting Trump because he has governed as a conservative, even compared to President Ronald Reagan, there are some hold-outs who cannot be brought aboard. They were angry when Trump fired Comey. The truth is, Republicans don’t march in lockstep. If anything, we are our own worst enemies at times. Republicans are experts in forming a circular firing squad. Democrats fall in line easier. Look how long it took for them to admit what a really bad candidate Hillary Clinton was or how badly her campaign was run.
The Comey book is not exactly receiving glowing reviews. The consensus seems to be that there is very little new in the book and it is heavy in Comey’s personal opinion of Trump. Even this loyal Never Trumper admits there really isn’t anything there.
Comey’s book and public attitudes about Comey are largely irrelevant. What matters — and has always mattered — is Mueller’s fact-finding, his integrity and his legal ammunition https://t.co/wpaNw2JIU2
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) April 13, 2018
This is the reaction from the right:
I’ve finished reading Comey’ book. It’s an easy and superficial read. I saw nothing that was true. I can only conclude that Comey’s version of events is fantasy. It is fiction. Things will end badly for Comey. He stole government documents.
— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) April 13, 2018
This book isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Calling a president the same as a mafia boss or belittling his physical features is hardly dignified. If he had something substantive to bring to the table he wouldn’t have to rely on personal attacks. He’s landed with a thud.