by Julie Kelly
America is a dangerously divided nation. Democrats, unable to accept the results of a presidential election three years ago, would now undo the constitutional expression of American voters by pushing a half-cocked impeachment inquiry. Democratic presidential candidates offer outlandish ideas such as free healthcare to illegal immigrants and subsidized gender reassignment surgery for inmates while Democratic voters fret their field of candidates is too old, too left-wing, and too sluggish to oust Donald Trump in 2020.
Republicans want the House of Representatives back, especially after witnessing the Democrats’ nonstop assault on the president. They also are impatiently awaiting the outcome of multiple investigations into how the Obama Administration weaponized the most powerful government agencies in the world to sabotage Trump’s campaign and destabilize his presidency. (Don’t miss my review of Ball of Collusion, the excellent book by Andrew McCarthy.)
But despite our deep partisan differences and, at times, raging animus toward our political foes, there is one thing on which nearly all Americans can agree:
No, James Comey, we don’t need your help.
In a lengthy article over the weekend that was part puff-piece, part cover-up, and part damage control, the New York Times struck fear in the hearts of Americans everywhere with the headline, “James Comey Would Like to Help.” Reporter Matt Flegenheimer, bless his heart, had to spend more than two hours with the former FBI director in Comey’s well-appointed home located outside of Washington, D.C.
The front-page feature included several photos of the lanky G-Man. Look, here’s Comey holding his grandson! Look, here’s Comey manspreading in front of his godson’s collection of Star Wars Legos! Look, here’s Comey getting a hug from a college student during a six-figure speaking gig at Yale!
Comey showed off what can only be described as a shrine to himself in the form of a private office ornamented with FBI memorabilia, just to remind us how great he is. Oddly he keeps a placecard from the January 2017 dinner he had with Trump when the president, according to Comey, asked for his “loyalty.” (Others might describe that dinner as “Comey begs to keep his job.”)
Alas, Flegenheimer clearly succumbed to Comey’s self-proclaimed wit and charm because he wrote, presumably with a straight face, “Comey, as ever, cannot fight a nagging conviction about it all: James Comey can help. He must help.” (It also appears that Flegenheimer picked up Comey’s flair for rhetorical-melodrama.)
Comey’s “help” is to try to finish the job he began in early 2016: Destroy Trump. The man who, along with former CIA Director John Brennan and with either the blessing or the direction of the Obama White House, opened an unprecedented federal investigation into the presidential campaign of one of Barack Obama’s most despised political foes, is again gunning for Trump—on Twitter.
“At times, Mr. Comey can sound as if he is suggesting that the Twitter account from which he slings grave warnings and measured hope . . . is yoked to the health of the nation,” Flegenheimer wrote.
“I have a fantasy about on January 21, 2021, deleting my Twitter and moving on to something else,” Comey told the reporter. “But until then, I can’t.” A fantasy.
From international spies and secret courts to 240 characters and a little blue bird. Bummer.
But Comey has other things to do besides contemplate the wording of his next savage tweet. He’s raking in six-figure speaking fees; according to his booking agency, Comey commands between $100,000 to $200,000 per appearance.
He just signed a gig to write for the Washington Post. His bestselling memoir, A Higher Loyalty, will soon be a television mini-series; Comey can offer lots of acting tips to Emmy-award winner Jeff Daniels, who is slated to play him. It’s hard to see how Daniels could top Comey’s impressive theatrical skills. (Holly Hunter will play former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who co-signed with Comey the initial FISA warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.)
While Flegenheimer delves into tiny details about Comey’s inner thoughts, sleep habits, and ego struggles—“he is at once a just-the-facts lawman and a prodigious feeler of feelings, introspective about the size of his ego and incapable of suppressing it entirely”—the reporter overlooks more pertinent information such as recent findings by the Justice Department inspector general that Comey broke as many as three federal laws by mishandling his own memos, some of which were deemed classified material.
Or that the same inspector general has concluded his inquiry into whether Comey and his colleagues violated the law by misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to get permission to spy on Page for a year. According to Fox Business News anchor Maria Bartiromo, the long-awaited report will be issued Friday and is “as thick as a phone book.” Comey used the infamous Steele dossier as evidence that Page was a Russian agent without disclosing to the court that the document was opposition research and had been funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Comey’s Mutual Contempt Society
Flegenheimer also failed to mention that Comey is the subject of other Justice Department investigations related to the corrupt and possibly criminal origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe as well as illegal leaks of classified information to the news media; the reporter claimed that Trump “[lathers] up his supporters with tales of ‘Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey’” without explaining why the president gave that accurate nickname to his former FBI director-turned-Twitter-troll.
The reaction to Flegenheimer’s piece, however, should warm the cold heart of every Trump supporter. It appears as though there’s plenty of contempt for Comey on the other side of the aisle. Democrats still blame Comey’s October 28, 2016 announcement about reopening the Clinton email investigation for her loss on Election Day. Comey recounts one uplifting exchange where a woman swears at him and says, “Thank you for giving us Donald Trump.”
Most of the more than 1,600 comments to the Times piece were critical of Comey’s last-minute involvement in the case. “Oh my God. Is there no off switch on this guy?” tweeted Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) with a link to the article. Leftist Twitter also showed little support for Comey.
There is very little to unite Americans on the Left and Right; our shared rejection of any “help” by James Comey just might be the temporary salve we need.
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.