Former FBI Director James Comey explained how he thought Attorney General William Barr and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have given in to President Donald Trump, in a Wednesday op-ed for the The New York Times.
“Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring,” Comey wrote and used former Secretary of Defense James Mattis as an example of a leader who could not be corrupted by Trump.
He continued, “But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.”
Comey went on to describe a scenario in which “Mr. Trump makes everyone a co-conspirator to his preferred set of facts, or delusions,” because he speaks so quickly no one can object. He goes on to depict going down a rabbit hole with the president until his “outrageous conduct convinces you that you simply must stay, to preserve and protect the people and institutions and values you hold dear.”
The former FBI director also accused Barr of “downplaying acts of obstruction of justice.” (RELATED: ‘Completely 100% Wrong:’ Lindsey Graham Calls Out Judge Nap On Obstruction Question)
In Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, which was released at the end of March, he revealed that Mueller did not make a conclusive decision on whether or not the president committed obstruction of justice. Instead, the special counsel laid out 10 instances that they reviewed. It was then up to Barr and Rosenstein to determine the issue of obstruction.
Even when Mueller sent a letter to Barr expressing that the memo “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” he did not take issue with its accuracy.