My Sunday New York Post column today takes a look at the Jim Comey mess — a mess entirely of the former FBI chief’s own making.
Let’s cut right to the chase: James Comey should have been fired immediately following his disastrous press briefing last July, in which he candidly laid out the case against Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information and then refused to recommend charges. Overstepping his authority while radiating sanctimony, arrogating power while clumsily intervening in the election, Comey deserved to be sacked on the spot.
Everything since has been one long slow twist in the wind for Comey, a former US attorney in Manhattan, where his most notable accomplishment was sending Martha Stewart to jail.
Really, when you stop to think about it, what was so great about James Comey? Pace my friend and PJ colleague Andy McCarthy’s good opinion of him personally, I fail to see what made him a good choice for this job in the first place:
Ignore for the moment Comey’s series of missteps resulting from the Clinton investigation and his increasingly erratic and unconvincing public fan dance as he sent the nation into electoral paroxysms over the past 10 months.
On his watch, the FBI continued its politically correct, see-no-evil attitude toward radical Islam and thus failed to prevent the atrocity in San Bernardino; it also investigated the Orlando nightclub shooter for 10 months before closing its case, allowing him to kill or wound 102 people. Meanwhile, the federal office of personnel management was hacked by the Chinese, resulting in a serious data breach. That’s failure on an unacceptable level.
Now the bureau’s tied up and bogged down in the almost certainly chimerical “Russian hacking” fantasy, which bubbled up out of the leftist fever swamp in the wake of Clinton’s loss in November, and for which there is exactly zero evidence. So when President Trump finally put Comey out of his — and our — misery last week, it was the best merited cashiering since Truman fired a showboating MacArthur.
The fact is that Comey is a classic Irish type — a guy who got too big for his britches, and whose humiliating comeuppance was inevitable the minute he laid out a devastating case against a criminal Hillary Clinton and then walked away from it, on national television no less. As I tweeted the other day:
— Mícheál Breathnach (@dkahanerules) May 13, 2017
(“Mícheál Breathnach,” by the way, is the Irish version of my Anglo name; in other words, my real name.)
Comey, the FBI, the entire Justice Department under Barack Obama were all compromised by the former president’s relentless politicizing of everything he could touch from the Oval Office, and it will take a long time to repair the damage. But firing Comey was a good step in that direction.
As the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer, the FBI director shouldn’t be a political figure… What’s needed now is a restoration of what should be the FBI’s primary mission, as it was in the early Hoover days: counterterrorism. Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it’s far less important for the bureau to be chasing bank robbers in Burlington and Butte than it is for it to function as the nation’s first line of homeland security defense.
The country doesn’t need another politician, jurist or prosecutor at the bureau. It needs someone dogged, determined, experienced, impartial and fearless. Someone sworn to protect and serve, who will follow the evidence wherever it leads and make the appropriate recommendations in the name of justice. Incorruptible and impartial.
In other words, a cop — the best one we have.
Of course, it probably won’t be. (Only former NYPD boss Ray Kelly is on the short list, apparently.) Instead, we’ll likely get another lawyer, another U.S. attorney — luckily, not Chris Christie, who just ended his public career with this idiotic decision — another politician, another bureaucrat.
I’m a huge fan of attorney general Jeff Sessions, and hope he has some significant input into who should succeed Comey. Let’s hope the Trump administration gets this one right, and the FBI can go back to law enforcement.
Follow me on Twitter @dkahanerules