With the Justice Dept.’s coming inspector general report that could find serious wrongdoing by former FBI director James Comey and other senior officials the Times runs a glowing defense of Comey.
By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News
“James Comey Would Like to Help: The former F.B.I. director wants an end to the Trump presidency. And yes, he knows you might think he caused it” is the headline atop an instructive article on Sunday by Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times. His article makes clear the Times remains determined to support former FBI Director James Comey and sustain the discredited Russiagate narrative they share to the point of helping Comey and his partners avoid possible time in prison.
In late August, the Department of Justice decided to let Comey off with a slap on the wrist for leaking to the Times, through an intermediary, highly sensitive information from his talks with President Donald Trump. At that juncture, it was already a no-brainer to warn that the victory lap Comey chose to run was clearly premature.
Consequential leaks to the media by a former FBI director are serious enough. Now, however, we are talking about possible felonies. Comey is standing in such deep kimchi that he may drown — despite how tall he is, and despite preemptive puff pieces protesting a purity of the caliber of Caesar’s wife. This time, even with the Establishment media and Comey’s accomplices offering fulsome praise for him, there’s serious doubt whether he can wangle a Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card.
Why do they appear to be running so scared?
In Horror of Horowitz
Over the last year and a half, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating how Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, and three deputy attorneys general (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, and Dana Boente) thought they could get away with signing applications for surveillance of former Trump associate Carter Page without disclosing that, as McCabe later testified, the application was based largely on the shabby, unverified “Steele dossier” paid for by the Democrats.
Providing incomplete, misleading information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a felony.
No problem, these top law enforcement officials probably thought at the time. Who would find out about their misconduct after Hillary Clinton — the odds-on favorite — became president? There would be encomia and promotions for help rendered, not indictments.
But now all of the above are squirming, and there is a paper trail. Only one of the FISA application signers is still in a key position to help from the inside — Boente. He was not demoted to working in the file room. He is the FBI general counsel, that is, its top attorney.
Is it About to Hit the Fan?
According Horowitz, Attorney General William Barr has had his draft IG report for over a month. Horowitz has said that his team “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.” The team is “finalizing” the report prior to releasing it publicly.
Some pundits are now suggesting that the DOJ IG report may be published as early as this Friday.
Hold onto your hats.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
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