Eventually the “holier than thou” find themselves at loggerheads with the rest of the world. Call it the revenge of the “thous.”
In James Comey’s mind, no one is as holy as he is. People he used to respect, like Rod Rosenstein and William Barr, certainly aren’t. President Trump ate their souls. Comey admits the same thing nearly happened to him, but he was holy enough to pull back from the brink. The fact that Trump fired him helped.
Now, Comey finds himself at odds with former associates on the anti-Trump side of the divide. Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General under Obama, has testified that Comey mischaracterized her statements to him when he repeatedly testified under oath that Lynch instructed him to call the Hillary Clinton email probe a “matter” instead of an “investigation.” House Judiciary Committee ranking member released Lynch’s testimony to this effect yesterday.
Comey has said that Lynch’s alleged instruction caused him to question her independence. This contributed to his decision to hold that famous July 2016 press conference in which he basically made the case against Hillary Clinton and then backed away from prosecuting it. Lynch clearly believes that Comey twisted her words to create a pretext for stealing the show with a press conference that injured Hillary.
Comey is also at odds with John Brennan over the Steele dossier. On May 23, 2017, Brennan testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier “wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had; it was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community Assessment that was done.” However, according to former Rep. Tre Gowdy, Comey stated in an email written during the relevant time period that “Brennan is insisting the [dossier] be included in the intel assessment.”
Comey is also at odds with Andrew McCabe, his former deputy at the FBI. As Victor Davis Hanson notes, “McCabe has testified that the dossier was the anchoring evidence that the FBI presented to the FISA court [but] Comey denies that fact.” Comey and McCabe also present different accounts about events related to McCabe’s eventual firing from the FBI. McCabe insists that he told Comey about authorizing FBI agents to speak with a Wall Street Journal reporter about an investigation. Comey says he remembers no such conversation.
I think I believe Comey in most of these clashes. A contemporaneous email should trump John Brennan’s testimony, particularly because Brennan seems like a more slippery customer than Comey.
Comey also strikes me as more credible than McCabe, who was fighting to keep his job when he claimed that Comey was okay with his leaking. On the other hand, Comey is certainly not above leaking to advance his interests.
As between Comey and Lynch, take your pick.
It doesn’t matter whom I believe, though. The point is that key deep state players of the Obama presidency have turned on one another. Now that light has been shed on the state’s efforts to assist Hillary Clinton and undermine Donald Trump, even after the American people elected him president, these players are scrambling for cover and pointing fingers.
If none of them had done anything wrong, they wouldn’t need to.