Douglas Andrews / February 17, 2021

James Comey Gets Caught Again

When it comes to lying liars, the former FBI director is in a class all by himself.

There’s a remarkable passage in James Comey’s 2018 book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, where he thoughtfully and compellingly spells out what it means to be a man of decency, humility, and integrity.

Just kidding.

Come on. We’re talking about James Comey, after all. This is the liar who continually told Donald Trump — when he was both a president-elect and a president — that he wasn’t being investigated by the FBI when in fact he, Comey, was doing the investigating. This is the liar who told Fox News’s Bret Baier in April 2018 that he didn’t know the so-called Steele dossier had been funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign when in fact he knew it to be so. What kind of dirtbag of an FBI director does this?

James Comey, that’s who. When we think of Comey’s candor and forthrightness, we’re reminded of what novelist and critic Mary McCarthy said about playwright Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”

And frankly, the most salient sentence in the entire Comey book is the very first one, in which he asks, “Who am I to tell others what ethical leadership is?” Well, if there’s one thing decent folks all across the political spectrum should be able to agree on, it’s that the disgraced former FBI director is the last guy on Planet Earth who should be doling out advice about ethical leadership.

Which brings us to the news this week that Comey has been caught in yet another deeply consequential lie. As John Solomon of Just the News reports, “The very day in January 2017 that then-FBI Director James Comey signed a FISA surveillance warrant application declaring content from Christopher Steele’s dossier had been ‘verified,’ he wrote President [Barack] Obama’s outgoing intelligence community chief with a very different assessment of the British spy’s intelligence on Russia collusion, a newly released memo shows. ‘We are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting,’ Comey wrote in a Jan. 12, 2017, email to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that was declassified and made public through an open records lawsuit by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.”

In short, the Steele dossier was put together by a Trump-hating British spy, it was pure uncorroborated rubbish, and Comey knew it.

The FBI’s baseless Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Trump and his staff is the bureau’s most deplorable episode in decades and a permanent stain on its reputation. What was deemed a counterintelligence investigation was in fact a high-level conspiracy to spy on a sitting president. And Comey was neck deep in it, as were corrupt underlings such as Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and the only FBI employee to be held even marginally accountable for malfeasance: Kevin Clinesmith, an otherwise anonymous lawyer who pleaded guilty last year to making false statements. (“False statements,” in this case, is a euphemism for having intentionally altered the language in a CIA document to make it appear that Trump staffer Carter Page didn’t work for U.S. intelligence, when in fact he did.)

One thing we can be sure of, though: Clinesmith didn’t act alone. A fish rots from the head, as they say, and the idea that this low-level bureaucrat took it on himself to falsify a critical document in the FBI’s application for a FISA warrant with which to spy on the Trump campaign doesn’t pass the giggle test.

Meanwhile, Special Counsel John Durham continues his investigation of the investigators. Let’s hope he keeps digging, and let’s hope his supposedly stellar reputation as a prosecutor is well earned.

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