Comey the God had little choice!

THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2017

Also, the Post seems to miss the point:
At times like these, you'll find yourself getting conned in a wide array of ways.

One such way appears in this morning's Washington Post. In a front-page report, the Post describes an apparent fake intelligence report by which James B. Comey—Comey the God—may himself have been conned.

Allegedly, the apparently fake document played a role in Comey's controversial conduct in the Clinton email probe.

Last July, Comey took "the extraordinary step of announcing the findings of the Clinton investigation himself without Justice Department involvement." So the Post correctly notes.

Along the way, the Post cites unnamed figures explaining why he did that—why he pretty much had to do that:
DEMIRJIAN AND BARRETT (5/25/17): Current and former officials have said that Comey relied on the document in making his July decision to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over. That public announcement—in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence—set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.

[...]

Current and former officials have argued that the secret document gave Comey good reason to take the extraordinary step over the summer of announcing the findings of the Clinton investigation himself without Justice Department involvement.

Comey had little choice, these people have said, because he feared that if Lynch announced no charges against Clinton, and then the secret document leaked, the legitimacy of the entire case would be questioned.
Warning! You're looking at part of the ongoing attempt to restore the godlike status of Comey the God.

James B. Comey "had little choice," these unnamed figures have said. Because of what the fake document said, he pretty much had to make the announcement on his own, without consulting with Justice.

Warning! You'll be assaulted with these attempts at restoration in the months to come. Meanwhile, did you notice that the Washington Post seems to have missed the point of last July's flap?

Readers, please! In the Post report, unnamed figures seek to explain why Comey "announc[ed] the findings of the Clinton investigation himself"—why he made "his July decision to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over."

That said, no one complained about the fact that Comey "announced on his own that the investigation was over." People complained about the fact that, after announcing his legal judgment, he went on to make a long oration in which he stated his own highly negative view of Clinton's underlying behavior.

The Post report notes the fact that Comey did that. But we see nothing in the Post report which addresses the reason for that decision.

Why did Comey criticize Clinton in the course of making that announcement? That was the behavior in question—except on the Maddow Show, where Comey's behavior was hailed for two nights by guest host Steve Kornacki, then completely ignored by Maddow.

Why did Comey take that step? We see nothing in the Post report which speaks to that basic question.

In one way, today's report is embarrassing for Comey. The report implies that he got taken by fake intel from the Russkies. Oof.

On the other hand, the report includes the latest attempt to restore the gentleman's standing as an insider Washington god. You're likely to see many more such attempts in the weeks and months ahead.

On the third hand, we'd have to say that the Washington Post has missed the point of last July's dispute. Why did Comey—Comey the God—blast Clinton in that long, irregular oration?

That is where the god misbehaved. No one in the Post report seems to address that conduct.

The god was criticized last July for stating his highly negative views. Did Demirjian, Barrett and their editors understand this point?

12 comments:

  1. Beyond that, what were the forces that pushed Comey into partisanship in the first place? How did Rudy know what he
    knew when he knew it?
    I've seen little in the press trying to push Comey as a "God."
    MSNBC loves him now as a way of getting Trump, and it never bothered him that much when he was hurting Clinton, particularly at the start.
    One man's opinion: He was a rather decent sort who played ball with his Republican pals, probably thinking that a Trump victory was ultimately unthinkable.

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  2. Err, what? Bob, did we read the same article?

    First of all, I admit that they are pretty non-explicit about it, but I believe that the reason for Comey's trashing of Clinton can be easily inferred from the story. It's all part and parcel of him trying to look independent from a potentially compromised Justice Department. By criticizing Clinton, he was trying to insulate the FBI from future rumors that the fix was in.

    Second of all, I don't feel that the Post story is an uncritical acceptance of this defense. To whit:

    "Other people familiar with the document disagree sharply, saying such claims are disingenuous because the FBI has known for a long time that the Russian intelligence document is unreliable and based on multiple layers of hearsay.

    “It didn’t mean anything to the investigation until after [senior FBI officials] had to defend themselves,” said one person familiar with the matter. “Then they decided it was important. But it’s junk, and they already knew that.”"

    There are a few other mentions of the fact that the intercepted communication is thought to be discredited by many.

    Maybe you feel that narrative should have been foregrounded a bit more. I do agree with that. This story seems like a transparent attempt by friends of Comey to rehabilitate his image. But I don't feel that the Post is as complicit as you accuse them of being.

    All in all, I felt like it was a good story, because I walked away from it with a very strong impression that this was the claim being floated by the Comey camp, and it wasn't very solid.

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  3. Rehabilitation is in the air this Spring. There was G.W. Bush with his painting; Condi Rice is flogging a new book, and even Elliot Abrams was on The News Hour this week. Amy Chozick was finally re-exposed to readers at the Times, and next we might expect to see a puff piece on Hans von Spakovsky

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    Replies
    1. And, Dan Rather is now rehabilitated, thanks to his harsh criticisms of Trump.

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    2. fucking troll. you sure are a warped piece of shit Comrade DinC.

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    3. Next thing you know, they'll be making David in Cal into someone who's not a mouth-breathing racist.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Regardless of the controversy surrounding it, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's May 9, 2017 memo laid out in explicit fashion what an egregious departure from any institutional norms Comey's remarks were at his July 5, 2016 press briefing [LINK]:

      [QUOTE] ...There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation's most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

      Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously.

      The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.

      In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his "goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it." But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference.

      The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then - if prosecution is warranted - let the judge and jury determine the facts.

      We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte [CMike- i.e. the FBI should not do it without direction from a court or the DOJ].... [END QUOTE]

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    2. Just so. Comey should have been fired on July 6. The fact that Obama never did fire him (and nor torture enthusiast John Brennan) is evidence suggesting he was a prisoner of the Borg.

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