At least twice last year, it appears then-FBI Director James Comey bowed to pressure from Republicans in Congress to do political damage to Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
As the controversy-ridden former prosecutor, one-time corporate attorney and now unemployed bureau chief settles into his new role as erstwhile presidential spoiler, Trump Memos in hand, an asterisk has become permanently affixed to the name, “James B. Comey.”
Like most asterisks, the symbol indicating that a footnote follows subject Comey comes in solid newsprint-black ink. But Comey’s asterisk doesn’t stay boring black for long.
Maybe it’s unfair to doubt he was leading an earnest, even robust investigation into the 2016 campaign of Donald J. Trump and his alleged “Kremlingate” affair before the president fired him.
Comey may well have been doing a solid job investigating what could eventually turn out to be anything from “mere” foreign election meddling, to outright treason at the highest levels of government. But an FBI director doing his job in spite of pervading political winds had been the orthodoxy and a nonpartisan tradition of the post-J. Edgar Hoover FBI for decades.
Let’s say he was acting in that tradition. It wouldn’t matter much because the very scandal Comey was investigating was one he helped create. Drop a dab of red and a splat of blue ink onto the asterisk next to James Comey’s name before the black ink dries.
The blue does not symbolize the number of Democrats who lately seem to think Comey’s efforts under President Trump were heroic. Neither does the red represent the small handful of principled GOPers who also appreciated Comey’s work investigating Trump’s Russia scandal.
Now, if you’ve ever mixed red and blue with a little black, you know the result is a dark, bruised purple. No hue could be more apropos for the asterisk next to Jim Comey’s name. Color it so.
But don’t mistake James Comey’s purple asterisk for anything as admirable, so benign or in the least bit conciliatory as a swing state purple-colored star. Comey’s asterisk is the color of a bruise caused by tripping over his own duplicitous way of running the bureau’s investigations relating to Election 2016, most prominently his investigation of former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, selected Comey, a longtime Republican who says he no longer registers as such, to run the FBI when he, Comey, was still relatively new in the private sector.
He was, when Obama appointed him, lead attorney at a mega hedge fund called Bridgewater. Bridgewater, as HuffPost recently noted, was not only the largest hedge fund in the world, but it was also known for obsessively recording “just about everything its employees did,” according to HuffPost’s Zach Carter, who cited a New York Magazine article about Bridgewater’s CEO.
That gig followed his eventful tenure as deputy director at the U.S. Department of Justice during the George W. Bush administration. Both of those stints include acts by Comey that, upon close or even cursory examination, see the man tailoring, bending and breaking orthodoxy and ethics to fit a means to an end for which he saw fit to adjust on the fly.