Upon the announcement nearly two years ago from then-FBI Director James Comey that he would not further pursue the Hillary Clinton email scandal, I shared these thoughts with you:
Perhaps like me, you too watched all or a part of the congressional hearing with FBI Director James Comey. Regardless of his answers and defense of his report to the Justice Department, how did Comey come across to you? How did he make you feel? Did you sense a difference between Comey and Clinton or Trump? Did Comey come across as a liar? Did appear to be just another slick lawyer? Was there anything in Comey’s presentation that made you feel uneasy or that he wasn’t telling the truth as he sees it?
For me, one word came to mind about Comey’s presentation: Refreshing. In all my years, I haven’t seen any public figure as confident, prepared, intelligent, articulate and as trustworthy as James Comey in that committee room. He owned the moment. For me, he inspired confidence in a political system that doesn’t typically deserve it. For me, he looked presidential. In fact, even not knowing where Comey stands on a variety of issues, I would vote for James Comey for president. He’s that refreshing and that impressive. He made even the most articulate of committee members look like political amateurs. His self-restraint and obvious respect for democratic processes made him the adult in the room.
Fired by Donald Trump and now with the release of his new book, A Higher Loyalty, James Comey’s integrity is again called into question. If you have seen him interviewed about his book, you would see that his tone and style belie all criticisms of his narrative. I easily could simply repeat what I shared nearly two years ago. Comey remains the adult in the room.
His new book follows events primarily between Trump and him from the weeks following the election to his firing. Remember that Comey was put on the hot seat just a week before the 2016 election when he reversed his earlier call to not pursue the Clinton email scandal. Other evidence arose, not the least of which were the Clinton emails on Congressman Anthony Weiner’s personal computer. Comey was accused of tipping, if not rigging, the election toward Trump by pursuing Clinton but saying nothing about a possible Trump scandal involving Russia.
Today, Comey defends his action against Clinton and his inaction, at the time, against Trump as simply a matter of good judgment. Of course, Clinton supporters disagree. Nevertheless, Comey felt at the time that new evidence, in light of the looming election, required him to announce publicly that Clinton was back under investigation. If Clinton were to become president and then this new evidence were to come out after the fact, the nation could face a constitutional dilemma – America just elected a president who might very well be indicted.
At the very least, Clinton supporters were angry that Comey did not include the investigation against Trump as he announced the Clinton news. But, as Comey has explained, the Trump investigation was still developing and had not yet reached a point at which verifiable news of a Russia connection was ready for airing.
Comey has since been accused of grandstanding with an ego-driven personal agenda to stay relevant. A former FBI director writing such an intimate book is relatively unheard of – and I get that point. But, who cares? I am grateful Comey wrote his book. It is a fascinating read that sheds further light on how unfit Trump is to be president.
If you have heard Comey being interviewed, do you really think he is lying? I can tell you – he is not. Rather than ridicule him for honest answers, critical Monday morning quarterbacks should be grateful he has literally opened the book on Trump. Comey is refreshingly candid. He is completely human in his display of uncertainty regarding some of his tougher decisions.
In the end, I am grateful for Comey’s courage. In an age of political disorder, Comey gives us order. He is calm, logical and human. His honesty conflicts well with Trump’s lies and deceptions. Comey makes choosing sides very easy – will you choose the side of truth or choose the side of Trump? As I did two years ago, I choose Comey.