The Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines are moving ahead. Abortion restrictions are advancing at a furious pace. The fate of LGBT protections among federal contractors is anything but certain. You can say #ThanksTrump, or you can point the finger where it really belongs, in the face of disgraced FBI director James Comey.
While a female Saturday Night Live writer is indefinitely suspended for joking (unfairly) about Barron Trump, Comey is still employed after he threw the world order into complete chaos. President Trump's people indicated this week that he will keep Comey around as head of the nation’s domestic intelligence agency. And why wouldn’t he? The Republican bureaucrat and longtime Clinton enemy almost certainly ensured Trump’s Electoral College victory by shamefully throwing a press conference this summer announcing that Hillary Clinton wasn’t guilty of a crime but that she acted “extremely careless” in her handling of a private email server, and then announcing 11 days before the election that the FBI had obtained information pertinent to that seemingly closed case.
The media and public went wild over emails found on the computer of Anthony Weiner, the sicko former congressman married to (and now separated from) Clinton aide Huma Abedin; Comey suggested the missives possibly pertained to the Clinton case. Of course, nothing on the laptop had anything to do with Clinton’s alleged email mishandling. The FBI announced its findings less than 48 hours before Election Day, when America was relaxing and trying to not pay attention to a caustic presidential race playing out like The Never-Ending Story. We all know what happened next. Ask Nate Silver if Comey cost Hillary the presidency and the world its stability.
"I'll put it like this: Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27 (day before Comey letter)," Silver tweeted.
Thankfully, Comey’s inexcusable actions — which broke long-standing protocol against the release of sensitive information close to elections — are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. Oh, wait, an ardent Trump puppet and civil rights antagonist is set to head up the Justice Department. Even if Jeff Sessions recuses himself, it’s doubtful that actual justice will be served.
What makes this disgrace even uglier is that Comey was well aware before the election that Russia was working to put Trump over the top by smearing Clinton with fake news stories. Did Comey feel compelled to tell the American public that the highest levels of Russian government — namely, Vladimir Putin and his cronies — were trying to install Trump? Nah. Of course, Clinton tried to warn the public that Putin was working to install his puppet, but swing state voters didn’t listen. Now we’re about to get a secretary of State who is a close buddy of good ol’ Vlad and has oil interests that intersect with the Russian leader’s interests. No, nothing unsavory here.
Comey has refused to divulge what he knows about Russia’s links to Trump, and whether the campaign was actively working with the Russian government. “I would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this, so I really can’t answer one way or another,” Comey said at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing this month. Wait, so why did he blab to the world about Anthony Weiner's laptop?
Then, at a private meeting with Congress members, Comey still refused to speak up. So let's get this straight: The story behind years-old emails is worthy of public consumption, but details on a foreign power possibly installing an American president is not worth sharing in a closed-door meeting with Congress. Nothing makes sense anymore.
What's clear by now is that Comey's actions helped put Trump in office. That reality had Trump blowing a kiss to Comey upon their first meeting at the White House. Now Comey is heading up an “investigation” into Trump’s cozy relationship with Russia. Even if the FBI director finds a smoking gun, do you have any confidence he’ll decide it’s big enough to share with the public? Will someone leak it to Trump? Would he kill it?
Comey was in on the plan. & Trump's ego is so intense. pic.twitter.com/a5S0oX0KqP
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 22, 2017
I’m sure they’ll all do the right thing, aren’t you?
With an agency this dirty, it almost makes J. Edgar Hoover — the abusive, possibly queer original FBI director who tormented progressive leaders — look palatable. With a 10-year term, Comey will likely be in power and poisoning the agency’s reputation for another six years. The only hope is a revolution at the 2020 ballot (or maybe 2018, but that’s highly unlikely), which could send Comey packing. His punishment should go further than that, though. His dirty dealings and nefarious allegiances should be investigated by an impartial entity free from meddling by Trump or Sessions. Should wrongdoing be found — what are the odds? — a fitting catchphrase comes to mind.
NEAL BROVERMAN is the executive editor of The Advocate. Follow him on Twitter @nbroverman.