By this time, the James Comey testimony has been analyzed to death. Almost everything that can be said has been said. And once again, as is always the case in these very partisan times, how he did, depends on your side of the political spectrum. The most left leaning Democrats believe his testimony was damning enough to begin impeachment proceedings of the President. The most right leaning Republicans believe Trump has been vindicated and it’s now time to move on to governing. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, as it often does. If you have watched or read the proceedings and the commentary, you know as much as anyone. But there are three most essential points to make about the former FBI Director.
First, no one on either side really listened to what I found to be most troubling in his questioning. Comey stated that the reason he didn’t come forward about what President Trump was suggesting in the “I Hope” statement was that he wasn’t “strong enough”. That seemed to be the end of that and no one questioned him on it. The FBI exists for two main purposes, 1) the gathering of intelligence and 2) law enforcement. If the head of the FBI isn’t strong enough to stand up to anyone, including the President, he’s the wrong man for the job. That is exactly the role he’s supposed to play. What if a President is committing “High Crimes”? Although ambiguous, what if the President was in fact ordering him to drop the investigation? There can be no excuse for such weakness and he should be brought to task for his inaction, not showered with praise. Did he do nothing out of fear? Lest I remind everyone that the FBI has a wide range of powers. Never mind wire taps, the FBI has been involved with many covert operations in its history and this man is suggesting that he was afraid to speak up? That’s pretty frightening.
Second, the fact that he admitted leaking his conversation with the President through the media via a friend demonstrates a serious lack of judgement. It also calls into question whether or not other details were leaked to the press through Comey. It might not be illegal but it is very unprofessional and even unethical. It also demonstrates a distasteful personality trait that would not be desirable either for the FBI or anywhere else in the professional world.
Finally, the FBI Director Comey was directly responsible for the loss of Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. His actions only weeks before the general election were absolutely out of line and affected the outcome far more than any Russian interference. For better or worse or no matter what his incorrect motive was at the time, he should have held on to that information, especially given the fact that nothing came of it. It’s interesting that now everyone is praising the man despite the fact that he has shown an incredible lack of judgement. I for one feel safer that he is no longer at the helm of the FBI. I do agree that he sounds like a very nice and credible man when he’s speaking but in this case actions speak much louder than words.