The effort to discredit Comey's book is fascinating

In today's polarized political climate, it is fascinating, but not surprising, that a group of detractors would start...

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 10:35 AM
Updated: Apr 13, 2018 10:35 AM

In today's polarized political climate, it is fascinating, but not surprising, that a group of detractors would start early in their attempts to discredit a new memoir by former FBI Director James Comey before they have even read it.

Fascinating, because of the sheer number of amateur armchair prosecutors who have come out of the woodwork to clamor for public attention and wax poetic about investigations in which they had no part. Unsurprising, because we are sadly now in a post-truth world where drawing conclusions without having the full facts is commonplace.

The Republican National Committee, for one, is going all-in as part of a new campaign to destroy Comey's credibility and reputation before his book's release. The "party of law enforcement" is now using its precious resources to attack the former head of the nation's premiere law enforcement agency. Let that sink in.

As a former FBI special agent who also served a stint as Comey's special assistant, I saw firsthand how partisans on both sides of the aisle tended to either champion or denounce the former director depending on whose political ox seemed to be gored on a given day.

I saw the hypocrisy from politicians and others who on one day would gush about being fans of his and appear to relish the Comey good housekeeping stamp of approval if his actions appeared to be in their favor, and then on the next day would publicly ridicule him and treat him as the devil incarnate.

The pre-emptive efforts to criticize Comey's memoir have their roots in the unfortunate politicization of the FBI that we've seen over the past year. Our precious institutions of justice were once off limits to the antics of political operatives, but the destruction of norms has now made way for open season on the FBI.

It is my judgment, and that of many of my former FBI colleagues currently on the job, that Comey was fired largely in an effort to thwart the FBI's Russia investigation.

At the time, the White House indicated Comey was fired based on a memo, which was drafted by stooges at the Justice Department, ridiculing Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation. However, President Donald Trump would later allude to the Russia investigation as his motive for the termination.

The Clinton pretext was nearly brilliant because it presented a red herring while simultaneously riling up many in the Republican base who, to this day, remain upset that Comey recommended against prosecuting Hillary Clinton.

Once sidelined, the campaign against Comey shifted to special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, after it became clear the FBI's investigation into possible collusion was not going away. Fearful of where it might lead, those operating in survival mode have launched nothing short of a full-court press to denigrate Mueller.

This has included attacks by both the White House and Congress. If these political operatives are able to discredit those doing the investigating, their thinking goes, they just might convince a segment of society that the results of the investigation are also flawed.

To be fair, I have no doubt there are smart and well-intentioned people who genuinely have questions about the actions of the FBI. Occurrences like the disgraceful and politically charged text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, which were released devoid of any context, and the summary dismissal of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe without any specific details from the Department of Justice, have provided fodder for those seeking to discredit the FBI.

And Comey has much to explain about decisions and actions made over the past two years, including his decision to reopen the Clinton investigation before the election, his handling of the personal notes he made after his meetings with the President, and White House efforts to influence the direction of an FBI investigation.

However, his biggest hurdle with the new book will be changing the minds of those who have fallen victim to the campaign to manipulate public opinion and besmirch his reputation. To reach the public, he will need to squelch the political noise from operatives at the RNC and critical pundits who ridicule him for finally giving us his side of the story, while they hypocritically get paid each day to give us theirs.

Although I haven't read the book, I'm confident it will take the public along with him and describe the many political landmines he had to navigate in countering outside influence on the FBI. As someone who worked alongside him and saw the countless difficult decisions he had to make during unprecedented times, I'm confident an open-minded public will understand his decisions, even if they don't fully agree with them.

The Comey I knew ignored all the partisan noise and clamor, and simply conducted himself in a manner consistent with the rule of law. Time and again I saw him making hard leadership decisions that were nearly universally detrimental to him personally, but in the best interest of our vital institutions of justice.

West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Kokomo
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 61°
Rensselaer
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 61°
Fowler
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 61°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Crawfordsville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 61°
Frankfort
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Delphi
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 63°
Monticello
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 63°
Logansport
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 64°
Warm-up again with increasing humidity & risk of storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events