Monday, April 16, 2018
To hear James Comey, he seems like a dispassionate observer, reporting what he was privy to during his short time with Donald J. Trump. There is little reason to doubt what he says, which makes his comments all the more damning, even if he feels the President should not be impeached. However, there is something lurking beneath his calm demeanor that makes you wonder what ax he has to grind here. After all, this is the same guy who almost single-handedly undermined Hillary Clinton's campaign by re-opening his investigation into her e-mails in October, 2016, diverting all the media attention away from Trump's infamous Access Hollywood and Miss Universe scandals.
It's pretty hard to buy Comey's argument that he was so confident Hillary would win the November election that re-opening the investigation would have little impact. The e-mails had been dogging her throughout the campaign, and most people thought this issue had been laid to rest in July when he announced that he found no wrongdoing, albeit chastising her for her carelessness. So why reopen the case to just as quickly close it again 10 days out from the election?
Trump supporters are seizing on this in their attempt to portray Comey as a politically-motivated hack who is now determined to bring their President down the same way he did Hillary. Oh the irony in the situation. The man who was a hero in their eyes back in 2016 is now a "slimeball." Conversely, the man Hillary supporters vilified back in November is now a hero for speaking out against Trump.
Maybe it is as Comey says, he was just doing his job. He felt there was enough evidence in the Weiner tapes to justify reopening his investigation into Hillary's e-mails, since presumably his texts with his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, overlapped. Ms. Abedin worked for Hillary in the State Department and some of her e-mails were on the same server Hillary used. Still, couldn't it have waited until after the election?
His book is due out tomorrow and already 200,000 copies have been sold. The guy couldn't have set himself up any better for a runaway bestseller that is sure to top the NY Times and Amazon charts. It does question his credibility, as there appears to be a very strong ulterior motive here -- money. No telling how much he got for an advance, but royalties should be sky high.
I suppose it is a book that had to be written given all the controversy he generated, but it is coming at a time which threatens the Republican chances in November, as he not only calls Donald Trump's character into question, but the political party he represents. Some would call this a hit job.
Anyone who thinks the FBI is beyond reproach hasn't a very good grasp of history, which makes the title of his book, "A Higher Loyalty," almost laughable. We are not that far removed from the days of J. Edgar Hoover, who entrenched himself in the bureau for decades thanks to all the files he kept on politicians. This is what leads many to suspect a "deep state" still exists in the FBI and that Comey and McCabe were a part of it.
However, Comey is portraying himself as a boy scout, much in the same way McCabe is doing, in an effort to salvage their tarnished legacies. I don't think either one of them can really be trusted, which in the end may let Trump off the hook. I doubt Robert Mueller is very happy about this book, being the methodical man that he is.
Patience in Mueller's ongoing investigation has worn thin, which is why this book is being so well received. The public is clamoring for juicy details and Comey obliges. He gives us a peek into Trump's sordid world, not much unlike Michael Wolff did with Fire and Fury. This book won't be so quickly forgotten, as Comey packs a bigger punch, and Trump obviously feels the sting as he tries to punch his way off the ropes.
Who's to say what will come of all this, but it seems what will ultimately bring Trump down is Stormy Daniels, as Mueller pours over the Cohen tapes. Apparently, they are very damaging, if Trump is so anxious to review them before Mueller does. Comey is more of a sideshow, which will probably help more than hurt Trump at this point.