The madness of J. Comey, Director of Matters 4

Is James Comey, the head of the FBI, mentally unstable?

Judge Andrew Napolitano has compiled a record of Comey’s actions over the last nine months or so; actions that display such wild irrationality that our suspicion of derangement seems justified.

In 2015, a committee of the House of Representatives that was investigating the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, learned that the State Department had no copies of any emails sent or received by Clinton during her four years as secretary of state. When committee investigators pursued this – at the same time that attorneys involved with civil lawsuits brought against the State Department seeking the Clinton emails were pursuing it – it was revealed that Clinton had used her own home servers for her emails and bypassed the State Department servers.

Because many of her emails obviously contained government secrets and because the removal of government secrets to any non-secure venue constitutes espionage, the House Select Committee on Benghazi sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, which passed it on to the FBI. A congressionally issued criminal referral means that some members of Congress who have seen some evidence think that some crime may have been committed. The DOJ is free to reject the referral, yet it accepted this one.

It directed the FBI to investigate the facts in the referral and to refer to the investigation as a “matter,” not as a criminal investigation. The FBI cringed a bit, but Director James Comey followed orders and used the word “matter”.

So Comey followed an order that was out of the ordinary. Why? 

Was he protecting Hillary Clinton?

This led to some agents mockingly referring to him as the director of the Federal Bureau of Matters. It would not be the last time agents mocked or derided him in the Clinton investigation.

He should not have referred to it by any name, because under DOJ and FBI regulations, the existence of an FBI investigation should not be revealed publicly unless and until it results in some public courtroom activity, such as the release of an indictment. These rules and procedures have been in place for generations to protect those never charged. Because of the role that the FBI has played in our law enforcement history — articulated in books and movies and manifested in our culture — many folks assume that if a person is being investigated by the FBI, she must have done something wrong.

In early July 2016, Clinton was personally interviewed in secret for about four hours by a team of FBI agents who had been working on her case for a year. During that interview, she professed great memory loss and blamed it on a head injury she said she had suffered in her Washington, D.C., home. Some of the agents who interrogated her disbelieved her testimony about the injury and, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, asked Comey for permission to subpoena her medical records.

When Comey denied his agents the permission they sought, some of them attempted to obtain the records from the intelligence community. Because Clinton’s medical records had been digitally recorded by her physicians and because the FBI agents knew that the National Security Agency has digital copies of all keystrokes on all computers used in the U.S. since 2005, they sought Clinton’s records from their NSA colleagues. Lying to the FBI is a felony, and these agents believed they had just witnessed a series of lies.

But  he did not want her statements to be verified. Why? Was he protecting her?

When Comey learned what his creative agents were up to, he jumped the gun by holding a news conference on July 5, 2016, during which he announced that the FBI was recommending to the DOJ that it not seek Clinton’s indictment because “no reasonable prosecutor” would take the case. He then did the unthinkable. He outlined all of the damning evidence of guilt that the FBI had amassed against her.

He held a news conference in which he “outlined all of the damning evidence against her”. 

That is to say, he explained why she should be indicted.

So he wasn’t protecting her. 

But he was. He would not recommend to the Department of Justice that she be indicted.

This double-edged sword – we won’t charge her, but we have much evidence of her guilt – was unprecedented and unheard of in the midst of a presidential election campaign. Both Republicans and Democrats found some joy in Comey’s words. Yet his many agents who believed that Clinton was guilty of both espionage and lying were furious — furious that Comey had revealed so much, furious that he had demeaned their work, furious that he had stopped an investigation before it was completed.

While all this was going on, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was being investigated for using a computer to send sexually explicit materials to a minor. When the FBI asked for his computer — he had shared it with his wife — he surrendered it. When FBI agents examined the Weiner/Abedin laptop, they found about 650,000 stored emails, many from Clinton to Abedin, that they thought they had not seen before.

Rather than silently examine the laptop, Comey again violated DOJ and FBI regulations by announcing publicly the discovery of the laptop and revealing that his team suspected that it contained hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails; and he announced the reopening of the Clinton investigation. This announcement was made two weeks before Election Day and was greeted by the Trump campaign with great glee.

The glee was premature. Just as Comey’s public statements were.

But he wasn’t protecting Hillary.

No wait – he was.

Having again done something dramatic that was “unprecedented and unheard of in the midst of a presidential election campaign”, again rousing expectations that the great intelligence-gathering bureau was about to reveal that it had found evidence of Hillary Clinton’s turpitude and criminality, he let the big balloon he had sent up drop to an empty shred:

A week later, Comey announced that the laptop was fruitless, and the investigation was closed, again.

At about the same time that the House Benghazi Committee sent its criminal referral to the DOJ, American and British intelligence became interested in a potential [alleged] connection between the Trump presidential campaign and intelligence agents of the Russian government. This interest resulted in the now infamous year-plus-long electronic surveillance of Trump and many of his associates and colleagues. This also produced a criminal referral from the intelligence community to the DOJ, which sent it to the FBI.

This referral and the existence of this investigation was kept – quite properly – from the press and the public. When Comey was asked about it, he – quite properly – declined to answer. When he was asked under oath whether he knew of any surveillance of Trump before Trump became president, Comey denied that he knew of it.

But he must have known of it. Why did he deny it? Keeping quiet about it is one thing – proper, as Napolitano says – but outright denying it is another.

What was going on with the FBI?

How could Comey justify the public revelation of a criminal investigation and a summary of evidence of guilt about one candidate for president and remain silent about the existence of a criminal investigation of the campaign of another?

He might do it because he wanted to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

But if he’d wanted to damage her campaign, he could have done it much more effectively by recommending her indictment, justified by all the reasons he himself had outlined.

How could he deny knowledge of surveillance that was well-known in the intelligence community, even among his own agents?

Why would the FBI director inject his agents, who have prided themselves on professional political neutrality, into a bitterly contested campaign having been warned it might affect the outcome? Why did he reject the law’s just commands of silence in favor of putting his thumb on political scales?

What but derangement can explain it? Is the answer to all these questions that James Comey is mad?

*

Update May 2, 2017.

Cliff  Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

FBI Director James Comey has been caught going around to secret Congressional briefings in recent weeks touting the lurid fake “Trump dossier”.  He has been claiming that it is a major foundation of the FBI’s investigation of purported Russian collusion with Trump to interfere in the election — months after the FBI had already assessed the “dossier” as non-credible.

Comey seems not to grasp the nature of the damage he’s inflicting on the Bureau and its reputation for efficient information-gathering and law enforcement. He is lost in a “wilderness of mirrors”, to use intelligence jargon popularized by the CIA’s legendary anti-communist mole-hunter James Jesus Angleton.

This “Trump dossier” is the controversial document supposedly composed by “ex” British MI6 agent Christopher Steele through the group known as Fusion GPS. Paid for by still-unidentified Hillary Clinton supporters, it was “opposition research” against then-candidate, now President, Donald Trump.

Fusion GPS has been revealed to be a Russian lobby firm

The House and Senate Intelligence committees have been investigating the wrong alleged scandal. It’s not Trump and his associates who should be under scrutiny; it’s Hillary Clinton and her paid operatives — and their ties to Russia. …

In view of reports that the FBI relied on the discredited “dossier” to justify getting a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant against one-time Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued a statement demanding that Comey either step down or be fired. …

Comey’s conduct is almost as bizarre as the wild charges in the “Trump dossier”. In fact, he has been promoting the “Trump dossier” even as his own FBI and the rest of the Intelligence Community (IC) have been “distancing themselves from it” …

Comey must go. …

Comey has become a major embarrassment to the FBI.

  • Robert Kantor

    Comey may not be deranged, but he certainly cannot be trusted—by anyone.

  • liz

    The only explanation I can think of besides madness is that Hillary has something on him. I seem to remember that you did a post about him and his brother being involved in some kind of shady deal with the Clintons.
    Maybe they are holding that over his head, but it’s not exactly a secret, if you were able to write about it. I remember waiting for him to get in hot water over that, but nothing ever seemed to come of it. Any idea why?

    • Well remembered about that shady deal, liz! I’ve read nothing more about it.

      Strange thing is he’s not consistent in protecting her. He condemns her in strong terms, then excuses here. And repeats the on-again-off-again.

      Weird!

      • liz

        Yes, it’s as if he wants to condemn her, but then someone behind the scenes (the Clinton mafia?) starts twisting his arm and he changes his mind. That could be enough to drive him crazy.