On Thursday, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s office announced that fired FBI Director James Comey broke the FBI’s rules when he released memos containing sensitive information to the press.
The report goes into great detail about all the rules that Comey broke in order to turn the American people on President Donald Trump. Although Comey clearly broke the law, the Department of Justice decided to let him off the hook.
“Comey’s actions with respect to the Memos violated Department and FBI policies concerning the retention, handling, and dissemination of FBI records and information, and violated the requirements of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement,” says the report.
Although Comey was let off the hook, former FBI assistant director Kevin Brock warns that the worst is still to come for Comey.
Brock lays out in a piece written in The Hill why he feels that Comey is still in legal jeopardy even thought the Department of Justice failed to prosecute the former head of FBI.
Brock begins by discussing Comey’s twisted persona which he displays to the public: “At 6’8”, fired FBI director James Comey moves through life like a shark’s fin, well above the water level set by the rest of us. This brings attention, which he appears to enjoy, perhaps even crave. He has become a public performer over the past three years, cultivating a disarming “aw shucks, lordy, lordy” persona while covering his damaging actions with milky platitudes.”
Brock continues by talking about how Comey failed to notice his wrongdoing: “The Department of Justice Inspector General just fired the first of three cruise missiles trained on Mr. Comey with devastating impact. Comey’s reaction? “Feel free to apologize to me.””
Check out what else Brock had to say:
But here in the real world, this is what the IG’s investigation has confirmed: James Comey, as FBI director, created and maintained a separate record system that he kept in a desk drawer. He then also took most of those official records home. If that wasn’t enough recklessness, he leaked some of those records to the press after he was fired.
To Comey, all of this is justified because some hero has to rise up and stand in the breach. But the IG methodically lists the numerous policies Comey violated, policies carefully designed over time to prevent the abuse of authority by those who self-craft a “higher loyalty” in their minds, thereby exempting themselves from the rules. Comey was no hero; he was nothing more than an executive vigilante.
Creating a separate record system in the FBI is a mortal sin, and with good reason. Every newly minted agent at Quantico learns this as part of FBI 101. Anytime an FBI agent, to include the director, collects information in an official capacity, that information must be documented, associated with a case file number and entered into the FBI’s case management system. Comey never did that. In fact, his now infamous memos weren’t entered into the official FBI system until after he was fired.
Brock goes on to discuss how Comey is not yet out of the woods. According to Brock, Comey will next have to deal with how he mislead the FISA courts in order to spy on the Trump campaign.
Next up will be the IG’s findings regarding Comey’s truthfulness before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and whether he attested to false or misleading statements in order to electronically monitor a presidential campaign.
That determination may not be as cut-and-dried as many think it is, but it hopefully, at a minimum, will explain why Comey believed he could sign off multiple times on a FISA application based largely on information that he, himself, described as “salacious and unverified.” His exposure here is potentially much more devastating than breaking FBI record retention and handling rules.
Close behind the IG’s second report will be findings by U.S. Attorney John Durham whether Comey and his rogue team of investigators violated FBI and departmental guidelines to initiate a counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign. They will determine if Comey had adequate justification for launching such an unprecedented investigation.
But beyond that, Mr. Durham and his team likely will follow up on emerging indicators that Comey may have colluded with other intelligence community leaders to actually “manufacture” the justification needed for an investigation by targeting covert informants against campaign representatives in violation of established policies and procedures.
In short, James Comey is not out of the woods after the first IG report, which has exposed him as someone who casually and carelessly disregarded established rules and regulations. It is not a stretch to imagine that this disregard carried over into other more serious areas of potential abuse of authority.
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