Comey’s abuse of power to undermine President Trump should be viewed in light of last year’s Inspector General report on the FBI’s kowtowing in their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server. The FBI chose to exonerate Secretary Clinton despite her violations of federal laws on the handling of confidential information and despite the destruction of evidence and false statements by her aides and associates. The FBI intended to absolve her “absent a confession from Clinton” when they finally interviewed her in July 2016. Comey assured the IG that “by her demeanor, she was credible and open and all that kind of stuff” in that interview — even though FBI agents there believed Clinton had lied to them about not realizing she received confidential information.
The Justice Department, choosing not to prosecute the former FBI chief for the violations disclosed Thursday, awarded Comey the same “get out of jail free” card that the FBI granted to Hillary Clinton. Other FBI officials who have been investigated were not so lucky. Fourteen FBI officials have been referred to the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility for leaks or unauthorized disclosures in recent years, and several of them were fired, suspended, or censured, according to internal FBI documents disclosed by Judicial Watch. Though Comey’s leaks had far greater impact and propelled a lengthy investigation that eventually concluded that there was no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, his lofty former position may have insulated him from legal perils.
Thursday’s report is a reminder that Trump’s frequent falsehoods do not automatically make his opponents trustworthy.