James Comey’s credibility gap keeps getting wider.
According to memos released this week, the former FBI director who’s currently on a round of self-aggrandizing interviews to promote his self-aggrandizing memoir “A Higher Loyalty,” was well aware of how flimsy the information was in the so-called “Trump dossier.”
But that didn’t stop him from using it in a court specifically set up to protect American citizens.
In one memo, written by Comey to summarize a January 2017 meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump, Comey wrote that he told Trump that news organizations — specifically CNN — had their hands on the dossier and were looking for a “news hook” to run with it.
Comey wrote that he told Trump the material alone wouldn’t pass muster for a news organization to publish with confidence:
“I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [REDACTED] and that we were keeping it very close-hold. He said he couldn’t believe that hadn’t gone with it. I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports.”
Comey doesn’t say who would be doing the killing, but presumably he’s talking about the risk any news organization takes by running with information that can’t be completely verified.
As gratifying as it might be to think Comey still holds American media organizations to some standard of credibility, it’s unfortunate that he didn’t apply the same standard to his own behavior — or to the bureau for which he was responsible.
As reported by The Daily Caller in February, Comey was one of the officials who signed a warrant application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that relied on the “Trump dossier” to make its case.
The application has not been made public, but it’s a good bet Comey didn’t tell the judges he thought the information he was using wasn’t fit to be broadcast by even a Trump-hating outfit like CNN.
It is known that the application made no mention of the relevant fact that the memo had been paid for by the Democrat National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
But that was the information he used in an application to place an American citizen under surveillance on the authority of a court that was established for the express purpose of protecting American citizens from abusive investigations by the federal government.
As The Washington Post wrote in February, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is “where the Justice Department and the FBI conduct some of their most highly classified business: requesting judicial permission to eavesdrop on the phone calls or email communications of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage.”
So, Comey, then the director of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, had no problem telling Trump the information in the DNC-Hillary Clinton-generated “dossier” was such garbage that CNN couldn’t run it without some sort of rationale, but he still had no problem using the same information to obtain a warrant he knew would eventually be part of a crusade against the president of the United States.
This is a guy who subtitles his memoir “Truth, Lies and Leadership?”
With every day that passes, we learn more about what the self-serving Comey knows about “truth” and “lies” — mainly about how useful he finds them both to be when he sees fit.
And with every day that passes, Comey’s credibility gap keeps getting wider.
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