Yesterday the Department of Justice Inspector General released a scathing report further confirming fired FBI Director James Comey is a politically motivated liar and rampant leaker of official, confidential information. He broke all kinds of FBI rules, protocol and laws in his effort to take down President Trump and his administration through the launch of a Special Counsel investigation.
"Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information," the Inspector General found. "In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome."
Despite these facts, Comey demanded an apology from his critics.
DOJ IG "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
That demand has been met with harsh responses from legal experts on both sides of the aisle.
First, Democrat and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley over at The Hill.
Two years ago, former FBI Director James Comey came out with a book that celebrated himself as a paragon of “ethical leadership,” a subject that he later taught at the College of William and Mary. Comey declared, “Ethical leaders lead by seeing above the short term, above the urgent or the partisan, and with a higher loyalty to lasting values, most importantly the truth.” If that is the case, the new Justice Department inspector general report released on Thursday establishes that Comey is the very antithesis of the ethical leader he described. Comey was found to have violated both federal law and regulations for his own gain, and he made critical decisions that put personal over institutional interests.
Nevertheless, Comey released a statement portraying the scathing report as a type of victory and encouraged his critics to send their apologies to him. It was a “Captain Queeg” moment when myth borders on madness. Rather than rave about who stole his strawberries, as Queeg did in “The Caine Mutiny,” Comey claims someone stole a reputation that he tossed away two years ago. The report states that Comey not only knowingly violated rules governing all FBI employees, but his decisions “set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees.”
He has magnanimously accepted the apologies that no one has offered and claimed vindication that appears nowhere in the inspector general report. That is simply the benefit of being the author of your own mythology.
Republican Gregg Jarrett argues at Fox News it's Comey who owes America an apology.
Only the audaciously arrogant fired FBI Director James Comey would demand the equivalent of an apology in the wake of a blistering denunciation of his actions by the Justice Department’s inspector general Thursday.
As usual, Comey has it backwards. Comey is the one who owes the American public a sincere apology for abusing his position as FBI director, violating government rules, concealing information from his former agency, leaking sensitive documents without authorization, mismarking memos without classification banners, improperly retaining records in an unsecured location, failing to surrender those records to the FBI, and assuming “carte blanche authority” he did not have.
What's next for Comey is unclear, but given his former colleague and fellow leaker Andrew McCabe's recent hiring at CNN, he may not be far behind.