Here’s a question: if James Comey isn’t facing punishment for abuse of power seeking to undo an election and unseat a president, can justice ever be done?
The Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz has released his report on the former FBI director’s scheme to create and leak memos concerning Donald Trump, with the stated intention of building a case for the appointment of a special counsel. The IG report detailed many serious infractions Comey committed, but the Justice Department declined to file charges.
Comey, never short on self-esteem, took the opportunity to request contrition from his detractors who had accused him of the very sort of shenanigans the IG uncovered. But it is not Comey but the American people who are owed an apology. (GOHMERT: Inspector General Glosses Over Some Ugly Truths About The FBI)
Almost daily, more information emerges about the flagrant, politically-motivated abuses of federal law enforcement and intelligence powers before and after the 2016 election (a great deal of which has emerged from Judicial Watch investigations). Yet so far none of these abusers are even facing criminal indictments, much less going to prison.
Contrast the way that Comey and the rest have been treated with anyone associated even remotely with President Trump. Those in Mr. Trump’s orbit have felt the full weight of discretionary government power. Guns-drawn-at-dawn type searches. Belligerent interviews seeking to create process crimes from confused answers. Suppression of exculpatory evidence. The attempt to send 70-year-old non-violent convict Paul Manafort to the notoriously dangerous prison at Riker’s Island in New York to await trial on state charges sums up this malicious and punitive mindset.
Yet seditious, even treasonous Obama administration officials are wandering free, appearing as cable news commentators; writing books and columns promoting new and ridiculously inflated charges against President Trump; and generally staying in the Beltway mix until a possible future Democratic president gives them plum appointments as a reward for jobs well done. Imagine the skin-crawling possibility of Comey as a future attorney general, overseeing Special Counsel Peter Strzok’s investigation into former President Donald Trump.
Even Hillary Clinton and her enablers have yet to pay any price whatsoever for their alleged crimes. The outcome of the FBI’s biased Midyear Exam investigation of her illicit, home-brew email server was preordained. Comey wrote his exoneration before Hillary was even interviewed. Clinton was let off the hook on the false rationale that she did not intend to violate federal document handling rules — a false rationale since that is not a criterion under the law.
Plus, there was smoking gun evidence of intent in a June 2011 email exchange with her subordinate Jake Sullivan instructing him to strip classification markings from a document and “send nonsecure.” But no one was going to show up at dawn to seize Hillary’s illicit server when they were certain in their heart of hearts she was going to be their new boss months hence.
The praise being heaped upon Comey from the left for his anti-Trump efforts are in strong contrast with how they felt back on October 28, 2016, when he sent a dramatic note to Congress reporting he had reopened the Clinton “matter” after 49,000 potentially relevant emails had popped up on a laptop owned by disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, then shutting down the reopened review two days before election day. Hillary Clinton later said that if the election had been held the day before she would have been elected.
Maybe Comey’s illicit attempt to hamstring the Trump presidency through the false Russian collusion narrative was his way of apologizing to Hillary, or simply covering his rear. The Democrats who were calling for Comey’s scalp in 2016 have since switched to arguing that firing him constitutes grounds for impeaching President Trump. But not only can the president fire anyone he wants in the executive branch for any reason, the new IG report shows that Comey was a dishonest actor who was conspiring with others at the highest levels of government against the chief executive. Firing him was the right thing to do. And Comey’s lack of shame over the revelations of what he was up to is revolting.
Many would like to see punishment for Comey — and Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, John Brennan and others in the rogue’s gallery of people who sought to rig the 2016 election and destroy the Trump presidency. Some say to wait for the upcoming inspector general’s report on the abuse of the FISA process that led to the Obama administration’s unprecedented and repugnant surveillance of the Trump campaign, and the results of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal investigation of the FBI’s Russia inquiry.
Perhaps, when the details of these crimes are exposed, Attorney General William Barr will act. Maybe so. But if the Justice Department again refuses to bring prosecutions quickly and forcefully, America’s faith and confidence in the justice system will be crushed.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group. He previously worked as a counterintelligence case officer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.