Commentary

James Comey, the former FBI director still under scrutiny by two separate Justice Department investigations, got into a heated Twitter exchange with President Trump, late on Tuesday evening, Sept. 3, in what appears to an effort to smear the president for his criticism of Comey’s conduct at the Bureau.

Just last week, Comey was lambasted by Inspector General Michael Horowitz for leaking notes from his private conversations with President Trump, while he was director of FBI. Horowitz concluded that Comey violated FBI rules, as well as the terms of his employment agreement, to leak sensitive information in pursuit of his personal agenda to undermine the president.

While these violations would have provided ample grounds for Comey to be terminated from the FBI (were he not already fired), Attorney General William Barr has decided not to charge Comey, for the time being. Comey apparently interpreted Barr’s decision last week to be something of an exoneration, notwithstanding the fact that the Justice Department could level more serious allegations against him at any moment.

“And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president,” said Comey.

Comey’s tweet last week drew a firestorm of criticism from media and political watchers alike, who are noticing that Comey’s actions to undermine the president were just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Bureau’s misconduct under Comey’s watch.

Yet, it appears that Comey hasn’t listened. Tuesday evening, Comey was at it again, tweeting out, “Despite two years of Trump’s lies aimed at degrading the FBI, it remains a revered institution made up of good people focused on finding truth and doing justice. Stay true to your mission. America needs you.”

Comey intends to portray himself as a political victim, whose conscience has compelled him to break FBI rules and smear the president. 

President Trump then responded, on Tuesday evening: “The truth is that we have a nation that is disgusted with the FBI. We have a crisis of confidence in the number one law enforcement agency in this country (thanks Comey!) @LouDobbs ‘It’s a scandal.’ @AlanDersh”

The president was far from alone. Twitter blowback against Comey ensued.

Perhaps James Comey is trying to promote his book, which claims his politically motivated misdeeds served “A Higher Loyalty.” Getting President Trump to respond to his tweet raised his name with Trump’s 64 million Twitter followers and will help to keep his name in the press for another week.

Results of two ongoing Justice Department investigations involving Comey soon to be released

The remainder of the Inspector General Horowitz’s investigation is expected to reveal Comey’s role in misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in order to obtain multiple warrants to place President Trump campaign aides under surveillance. Several Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on Trump campaign aides, signed by Comey, relied heavily on unverified reports provided by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for political consulting firm Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

A separate Justice Department investigation, being led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, is probing deeply into the origins of the FBI’s counter-intelligence activities against President Trump’s campaign, beginning as early as March 2016. That investigation may reveal that the FBI planned and carried out a fraudulent counter-intelligence operation against then-presidential candidate Trump.

The remainder of Inspector General Horowitz’s report on potential FISA abuse is expected to be released in September, while U.S. Attorney John Durham’s report is expected to be released later this fall.