The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General recently released a report regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s behavior in his final days as FBI director and the time following that, detailing various times in which Comey violated, with clear intent, several FBI and other federal policies.
In what is rather reminiscent of the Hillary Clinton case regarding leaking and deleting of e-mails back in 2016, the OIG report lays out all the violations Comey committed:
“Comey’s actions with respect to the Memos violated Department and FBI policies concerning the retention, handling, and dissemination of FBI records and information, and violated the requirements of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement,” reads the OIG report.
Those memos are the ones Comey wrote in the first three months of Trump’s administration before the President fired him. The memos he had kept after leaving the FBI, which is a violation of DOJ and FBI policy. Upon leaving the FBI, he was required to return all official FBI documents, but Comey’s excuse to the OIG was that he considered those memos to be “personal records”, so he thought he should be able to keep them. The OIG, in their report, found no legal basis for him to believe they were his.
The OIG also said that Comey was at fault for failing to “tell anyone from the FBI that he had retained copies of the Memos in his personal safe at home,” despite the fact he had his former chief of staff, associate deputy director and three FBI officials went into his home to “inventory and remove all FBI property.”
So he kept FBI property, giving a poor excuse for it, there is no legal basis for him to have done so, and despite all of that, he won’t be prosecuted? What a disgrace, but that's not all of it.
What's more, Comey also further broke Bureau policy by sending a copy of a memo regarding General Michael Flynn, wherein the President had asked the then-FBI director to “let this go”, in reference to the criminal prosecution of Flynn regarding lying to the FBI (in what even Comey himself didn’t think he lied, but he was still prosecuted anyway), to a friend of his with instructions to give it to The New York Times.
In doing this, the OIG writes: “Comey violated FBI policy and the requirements of his FBI Employment Agreement when he chose this path. By disclosing the contents of Memo 4, through [Daniel] Richman, to The New York Times, Comey made public sensitive investigative information related to an ongoing FBI investigation, information he had properly declined to disclose while still FBI Director during his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony.”
Now, the law is rather strange when it comes to what a federal government official can disclose to the media and what one cannot. James Comey, in a tweet, quoted the OIG report when it says they had “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,” followed by arrogantly asking people to say “sorry we lied about you” when he’s the one who has been lying for the past two years.
But in any case, that is important because leaking classified information is a prosecutable crime and if there is no evidence of doing so, a prosecution cannot happen. However, he violated several other FBI policies and by Comey’s own standard of “intent”, he should be prosecuted over them because there was clear intent.
If you remember back in 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey gave a press conference in which he detailed a number of ways in which Hillary Clinton violated multiple federal policies when she was Obama’s Secretary of State, including the use of an illegal and unsecured server as well as using a personal email address to conduct official business and to handle classified information. Despite laying out all of Hillary’s sins (at least the ones regarding gross negligence), Comey, in acting as Attorney General despite not having the authority to do so, said that she would not be prosecuted because there was no “intent” to violate these policies despite the fact that intent is not part of the statute and it’s difficult to inherently prove intent.
Hillary Clinton should’ve been prosecuted but was not because of dubious circumstances and the excuse that there was “no intent” (though I disagree, but that doesn’t really matter). For James Comey, there definitely was intent to violate policy and violation of policy should be punished, otherwise there is no reason for the policy to be there in the first place.
The OIG mentions that “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.” And while I agree, what really sets a dangerous example for not just FBI, but all federal employees as well, is the lack of punishment for violating such federal policies.
It’s far more dangerous for society to let someone who breaks the rules get away with it than for someone to just break the rules. In schools or in the workplace, when someone breaks the rules, they have to be punished and be made an example of. “Don’t do what he did or what happened to him will happen to you” is what people should be learning. Instead, through this inaction, the OIG and all of the DOJ set a far worse standard for federal employees than James Comey did.
Comey is one person and not even a well-liked individual. He’s the type of person corrupt politicians would be more than okay with throwing under the bus to save their own skin. But through this inaction, we are under the understanding that no one is judged equally under the law. That there certainly are people who are above the law and such a standard turns this country into an oligarchy far faster than any election could.
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Clapper, Christopher Steele, James Comey and several other characters have all shown themselves to be above the law. Despite having broken the law to one extent or the other, they are all free men and women who got away with it. The fact that I’m not all that shocked that Comey gets to walk free is an indictment of the Department of Injustice. I don’t even EXPECT the law to be fully applied to these people when they break it.
Now, I’m not demanding that Comey be thrown in jail for life and the key to be thrown away. A no-name FBI agent leaked classified information regarding NATIONAL DEFENSE and only got a four-year prison term, so I can’t exactly expect to see the law getting rid of these people for good. But the fact that not a damn thing will happen to James Comey (and I expect nothing to happen to McCabe either) is truly sad. And yes, I know that the OIG and prosecutor John Durham are also looking into FISA warrant abuse by Comey, but I have no expectations for this.
Even if there is evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Comey, it’s pretty clear that these people are untouchable.
There is truly only one Judge in this world, who is incorruptible and unchangeable. These people might escape Man’s law and judgment, but they can’t escape God’s.
“Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.”
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