ALL OUT POLITICS: James Comey, the Man with the Purple Asterisk

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Dubious Ethics and Double Standards

In the age of Trump’s all-out, hyper-partisan, I’ll-fill-this-swamp-with-whomever-I-want cabinet picks, Obama’s bipartisan gesture in nominating James Comey back in 2013 as a kind nod to the GOP now seems naive, even quaint.

At the same time, Comey’s assessment of Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, as well as the minimal ways in which her decision to use said server potentially exposed classified material to hacking by foreign adversaries or terrorists, is not at all dissimilar to a kind of judgement about tailoring the rules to suit his own preferences, which matches the former FBI director’s own mentality and modus operandi to a T.

Comey’s announcement last year that he had decided to clear Clinton of any wrongdoing, while simultaneously editorializing about here judgment was noted by pundits on the left as highly inappropriate and glaringly unorthodox.

Alas, who listens to pundits on the left?

It turns out that Donald Trump, his communications advisers and even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who will appear before a Senate panel Wednesday—one day before Comey), as well as a lot of Republicans were listening to the liberal punditry.

In fact, each of the aforementioned have said that Comey’s comments against Hillary were inappropriate, unorthodox and inordinately unfair for a sitting FBI director to utter while last year’s Democratic presidential nominee was running for the highest office in the land.

Of course, they called Comey’s remarks unfair at a most inauspicious moment: almost a year after Comey’s words had harmed her and helped them. Such profiles in (ahem) courage. So many men with the guts to stand up against the interests of their own party.

For his part, Comey was like a juggler in a circus riding a unicycle on a wire high above a crowd. Comey said there was no reason to prosecute Hillary at the same time lambasting the former secretary of state for “recklessness” and “extreme carelessness.”

Late last month,  The Los Angeles Times bullet-pointed many of the statements James Comey made that were most egregious and most blatantly inappropriate. Two stand out to me, not because they’re the most explosive, but because they reveal Comey’s duplicity and hypocrisy in riding the bandwagon that says the Clintons play fast-and-loose with the truth; that Bill and Hill’ twist and turn the rules to shape their own purposes.

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statute regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said.

Well yeah, Jim. We assumed you were preparing your recommendation for a reasonable prosecutor—we weren’t thinking the U.S. Department of Justice was going to send your report to their resident “unreasonable guy.”

Comey went on:  “I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation.”

Dude. I mean, Mr. Director, stop. Stop politicizing your supposedly apolitical investigation. Stop preemptively disavowing your work. Your politics are showing. I mean they’re REALLY showing.

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Thom Senzee is an award-winning, West Coast journalist, founder of LGBTs In The News (lgbtsinthenews.com) and author of the All Out Politics syndicated column. ©2017 Thom Senzee. (@Tsenzee) -Twitter
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