Obama-era FBI Director James Comey was a man more than deserving of the firing he received from President Trump.
Regardless of how one feels about the IG report on Comey’s multitude of failings, there can no longer be any denying that President Trump was right to remove Comey from the position ASAP.
The most important point to draw from the Justice Department’s report on James Comey is that President Trump was right to cashier him as director of the FBI. The department declined to prosecute the ex-director. The department’s inspector general made clear, though, that Mr. Comey lacks the judgment to safeguard the kind of sensitive information that the Bureau needs to keep safe in order to properly “dispatch” its duties.
That strikes us as devastating. The report focuses on Mr. Comey’s sharing of sensitive memos with persons outside the department, among them his lawyers. He shared some with a friend for onpassing to the New York Times. The IG found Mr. Comey at times failed “to immediately alert the FBI to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information” and was less than completely forthcoming in testimony to the Senate.
…The IG report brushed aside Mr. Comey’s claims that he acted out of love for America, the Justice Department, and the FBI. If others behaved the way Mr. Comey did, the report said, the FBI couldn’t properly carry out its duties. Mr. Comey reacted today with a lack of contrition. “I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me,” he Twittered, “but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice.”
Mr. Comey shouldn’t wait up for The New York Sun. We’re completely comfortable with our own concerns about Mr. Comey, which are sketched in a number of editorials about him in various jobs going back 15 years or more.
Which, the Inspector General notes, is the second IG report to have faulted Mr. Comey. The earlier one, issued last year, dealt with the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails and related matters during the 2016 election. It found that Mr. Comey was insubordinate in concealing from the Justice Department his intentions in announcing that the FBI wouldn’t recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton.
When that report came out, Mr. Comey wrote a piece for the Times congratulating the Justice Department for excoriating him. Hence our editorial about “James Comey’s Chutzpah.” We also faulted Mr. Comey’s performance, as United States attorney, in the prosecution of Martha Stewart. A federal judge threw out the central charge; she suggested the needed evidence was either too meager or “nonexistent.”
It turns out there endures a hubris to Mr. Comey that he tries to portray as courage and conviction. Our doubts began when Mr. Comey, as acting attorney general, raced to a hospital to try to physically prevent the White House Counsel to a sitting wartime president, George W. Bush, from communicating on a national security matter with the actual, albeit ailing, attorney general, John Ashcroft.
Views differ on that episode, but ours is that it should have ended Mr. Comey’s career. At the time, Mr. Bush failed to fire Mr. Comey (the president had a lot on his plate). Mr. Trump should have heeded the Wall Street Journal and asked on January 20, 2017, for Mr. Comey’s resignation from the FBI. At least he did finally step up. The more one reads this report, the better one can see a noncynical reason why.
James Comey was/is a DC swamp rat of the worst kind. Self-promoting, self-obsessed, and willing to bend the rules to his own benefit time and time again.
Is it any wonder why he fit in so well with the Obama administration?