Thomas Gallatin / April 20, 2018

Comey’s Memos Prove to Exonerate Trump

No new bombshell revelations, just more evidence confirming Comey’s anti-Trump bias.

On Thursday, after months of foot-dragging and threats of subpoena and impeachment, the Justice Department finally handed over to Congress memos written by former FBI Director James Comey. They contain no bombshell revelations; rather they provide greater details of Comey’s meetings and conversations with President Donald Trump. And as Trump expressed via his favorite social media site, “James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”

So what do we learn from the Comey memos? First, Trump is correct that there is nothing in them that supports any suspicion of Russian collusion. In fact, what may be most revealing about the memos is just how little support Comey was willing to offer Trump. For example, Comey brought to Trump’s attention the dubious and salacious dossier, ostensibly in order to warn the president about its existence, not because Comey was saying it was true. However, Comey failed — over multiple meetings — to inform Trump that the dossier had been paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Clearly, from the very beginning Comey chose to view Trump as a potential criminal suspect rather than president-elect, even though he had no solid evidence supporting this suspicion.

Second, it’s clear from the earliest meeting that Trump desired to work with and trust Comey. Trump expressed sympathy for the “impossible positions” Comey was in during the campaign, obviously alluding to the Clinton email investigation. It’s not until later meetings that Trump brought up “loyalty,” which Comey found so off-putting, even though we now learn that he essentially agreed to “honest loyalty.” Why would Trump have felt the need to question Comey on his loyalty? The answer seems obvious — Trump sensed (correctly, as it turns out) that Comey was not on board with his presidency and was seeking to determine if he could trust his subordinate.

Finally, as has been the case before, these memos reveal more about Comey’s character than they do Trump’s. Specifically, in the second meeting Comey had with Trump on Jan. 28, 2017, the president expressed concerns about stopping leaks and appeared to press Comey on his reliability. Comey wrote, “I explained that he could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves. But I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense.” No leaks? No weasel moves? One wonders if Comey was lying at the time or changed his mind later.

The memos add more weight to the conclusion that the former FBI director was a political hack. Comey chose to follow his personal high-minded “values” rather than the Rule of Law, and in so doing he justified decisions aimed at undercutting support for the president. Comey admitted as much in his Senate hearing after having been fired. Comey confessed to leaking to the press, stating, “I woke up in the middle of the night Monday [thinking] that there might be corroboration for our conversation. And my judgment was that I needed to get that out in the public square. So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of [my memos] with a reporter.” Trump was the only president for whom he felt he needed to keep his own memos. Why? Comey was clearly opposed to Trump and thought it might come in handy one day to have a record of his side of the story to use against the president.

On a final note, Comey’s oft-repeated refrain that he wanted to guard the integrity of and public trust in the FBI rings hollow. His decisions and actions indicate a man more focused on promoting his own partisan desires than objectively enforcing the Rule of Law no matter who was in office.

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