James Comey’s Lower Loyalty Maimed the FBI
A physician I know once said this: “The patient starts to get better when the doctor walks into the room.” There is a psychological and spiritual boost that comes when a person feels he is in the hands of someone capable and professional. You feel it even before any hands-on treatment begins.
That insight that is probably lost on James Comey, the former director of the FBI. Comey is about to come out with another book. Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust is a sequel to A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.
James Comey’s Wake of Destruction
I wish Comey would stop self-promoting for a minute and think about the damage he has done. Not to Donald Trump but to the FBI. He doesn’t seem to understand that his actions have made it harder for the agency to gather important information from people. A patient will become nervous and uncertain if he hears that his new doctor botched his last three operations. So people having to deal with the FBI will have reason to be less than comfortable after Comey has politicized the bureau.
I can speak from harsh personal experience. In fall 2018 I was at the center of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation war. As the world knows, a California professor named Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while in high school. Ford would also claim that I was in room when it happened. I was close friends with Brett in the 1980s at Georgetown Prep. The accusation sparked mass hysteria and the worst media coverage in American history.
The entire thing shut down after an FBI background check (the seventh) into Kavanaugh over the last week of September. As part of the process I was asked to voluntarily come in and talk to two agents. I did. (I knew better than to speak to reporters.)
Was I Walking into a Witch Hunt?
It wasn’t just the emotional turmoil of being the target of a political hit that made the situation so fraught. News was also breaking about what Comey had done to the FBI. In September 18, just two days after Blasey Ford broke her story in the Washington Post, the Hill issued a sobering report. President Trump was bent on exposing what he called a “corrupt” Bureau. President Trump
said Tuesday he ordered the release of classified documents in the Russia collusion case to show the public the FBI probe started as a ‘hoax’ and that exposing it could become one of the ‘crowning achievements’ of his presidency.”
It would be revealed that Comey wrote seven memos summarizing his interactions with President Trump. Then he sent one of them to a personal friend and lawyer, directing him to leak the contents to a New York Times reporter. The leak resulted in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump.
Comey’s Corrupt Agenda
A 2019 Inspector General’s report would blast Comey for creating the 2018 memos of his conversations with Trump. And for using those same memos to trigger an independent council investigation into Trump’s supposed ties with Russia. From USA Today:
Today’s report documents how Comey brazenly violated federal and FBI policies regarding with his disclosures. Top FBI officials told the IG that they were ‘shocked,’ ‘stunned,’ and ‘surprised’ that Comey would leak the contents of one of the memos to a reporter. The IG concluded: ‘The unauthorized disclosure of this information — information that Comey knew only by virtue of his position as FBI Director — violated the terms of his FBI Employment Agreement and the FBI’s Prepublication Review Policy.’
So when I talked to the FBI, I wasn’t just rattled from the endless delays the Democrats kept imposing. That was part of an attempt to make me break down. (Lethal opposition researcher Ace Smith put it best: “Ninety percent of mistakes are made by people making emotional decisions under pressure.”) Or the increasingly ridiculous horror fiction that was being spread in the media, stories about drugs and gang rapes and fights on boats. Or the threats and extortion that came over the phone.
Would the FBI Agents Frame Me?
No, there was an additional piece: the idea that the FBI after Comey might be corrupt. What if Trump was right, and the bureau had framed him, and the action had been dictated from the top? That meant that they might do anything they wanted to me. The FBI notoriously spied on and sent threatening letters to Martin Luther King in the 1960s. That was just one of the corrupt and shocking episodes in the history of the bureau. (Remember when liberals used to hate the FBI and the Deep State?)
If they could do that to King, and even to Trump, what could they do to me? Comey’s legacy turned the psychological screws on me. This was not an abstraction but an immediate, real world problem. It’s no wonder that top FBI officials were “stunned” and “surprised” by Comey’s abuses. The director was making their job harder.
Wheels Within Wheels, and a Professional Hit Job
Like a patient dealing with a doctor whose reputation had been tarnished, I was anxious about the very people whose job it was to cure the illness. There were several things I wondered about at the time.
- Ford could have easily gotten in touch with me, but she claimed she didn’t know how. That rang hollow, since she was working with an opposition researcher.
- Who from a California number kept making threatening phone calls to me?
- Why was everyone claiming Ford wanted to keep her identity a secret, while she was simultaneously contacting media and politicians?
As Ryan Lovelace put it in his book Search and Destroy:
Ford had repeatedly tried to get the Washington Post’s attention, hired a lawyer, talked to a senator, and talked to a congresswoman. Yet she was not making the effort to ‘come forward,’ according to [Washington Post reporter Emma] Brown, and was watching as others told her story ‘without her name or her consent.’ The only reason anyone had her story to share was because Ford had provided it, yet ‘she expected her story to be kept confidential.’
A Quasi-Happy Ending
As it turned out, the FBI agents I spoke to proved courteous, professional, thorough and empathetic. After the final background check came out, Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said the following about the report’s conclusions on the motivations of the leftists who tried to destroy us: “If you think this was about [liberals] searching for the truth, you ought to put down the bong. This is not about the truth. This is about gamesmanship and power [and] politics. It’s that simple.” Kennedy added that “the FBI asked Dr. Ford’s council to submit additional evidence, and they refused.”
Thank God Comey was long gone by then.
Mark Judge is a writer and filmmaker in Washington, D.C.