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Comey, Mueller and the New Political Celebrity

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Former FBI Director James Comey’s speaking engagement fees now cost between $100,000 to $200,000 for a single speech. This is according to All American Speakers — a website that manages booking influencers, celebrities and other figures.

To put things into perspective, the federal Office of Personnel Management reported that Comey made $185,000 a year when he was FBI director. He now can make that much for giving just one speech.

Moreover, the All American Speakers website states on Comey’s profile that “speaker fees are subject to change without notice.” This could be due to “the speakers schedule, supply and demand … and other factors.” In other words, as Comey’s profile continues to rise, so will his speaking fees.

If President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller, how much do you think he will make per speech?

Unfortunately, this is a new form of the political celebrity. Executive officials will gladly abuse their power to push the media’s agenda. In exchange, the press boosts their profile and covers them as patriotic heroes.

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Life has been good for Comey since Trump fired him last summer. The former FBI director’s book is a top seller on Amazon, and mainstream media networks are lining up to interview him.

It’s surely only a matter of time until someone like CNN hires him as a “legal analyst” or “expert,” which will only make Comey’s wallet fatter.

All of this, of course, will be in addition to the generous payments/benefits he probably already enjoys as a former intelligence and federal employee. It’s no party without taking some taxpayer money too.

This leads us into a bigger question: What if special counsel Mueller is trying to get fired on purpose? While no one is trying to push any conspiracy theories, how many copies do you think a book by Mueller on Russia or Stormy Daniels would sell? Wouldn’t the speaking fees of a former FBI special counsel and director — who investigated the president in two cases, as opposed to Comey’s one — be much higher than the bureau’s former director?

Do you think former FBI Director James Comey has shown more interest in gaining fame and money than in seeking justice?

How much do you think CNN would pay Mueller to be a regular panelist during its 2020 election coverage?

All of that is multiple times more than what he gets paid now by the FBI.

Throughout the 2016 presidential election, Russia and Wikileaks — separately — hacked the Democratic Party’s email database. Subsequently, the hackers shared the email exchanges with the public on social media. Records of key campaign figures show that they were engaged in media manipulation tactics and abuse of power.

Perhaps ironically, party leaders also tried to fraudulently skew the Democratic primaries to make sure that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lost to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The list of disgraced wrongdoers includes DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Clinton campaign Manager John Podesta and — as usual — Hillary Clinton.

This was a real case of electoral fraud and illegal attempts to delegitimize the voting process. Russian attempts to influence the U.S election are, of course, important. But when power-hungry American politicians undermine the electoral system, isn’t that also a serious threat to the republic?

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Countries other than Russia also got involved in the last election. Didn’t the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, use profane language to attack Trump on Twitter? The pope called Trump’s views on border security “un-Christian” during the Republican primary. Italy’s then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi publicly expressed his support for Clinton after Trump won the GOP nomination.

Even Hillary herself bragged that world leaders wanted to endorse her over Trump during the campaign.

Why are Twitter trolls a threat to the election and considered worthy of a nearly two-year-long investigation but global leaders with hundreds of millions of supporters aren’t? Why is it that when a foreign power expresses support for Trump, it’s considered collusion and a potential criminal act, but when they support Clinton, she’s portrayed as a qualified diplomat who will bring stability?

Robert Mueller (left) and James Comey, respectively, served as back-to-back FBI directors under the Obama administration.

The mainstream media’s double standards are a problem because they influence real events. After all, without CNN and MSNBC’s constant coverage of the Russia story and Stormy Daniels, few would’ve known who Mueller and Comey are.

How many FBI directors other than those two can you name? Odds are, most people can’t name any. However, we can all bet that most of them are not making hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single speech.

If Comey and Mueller opted to investigate the DNC’s corruption or former President Barack Obama’s reported spying on the Trump campaign, the mainstream media wouldn’t have obsessed over them. In turn, they will ignore them and cover other high-profile investigators who will investigate Russia — ones who will run after the money and fame.

After all, when you can make in one speech just around what you make in an entire year, it’s hard to turn that down.

We now live in the world of the new political celebrity. In it, the FBI will keep extending the deadline for Clinton to hand in her emails. Comey was more than happy to wait until she deleted 30,000-plus emails, all while investigating her private server that she suspiciously used to store her exchanges as secretary of state.

Yet, when CNN accuses Trump of sleeping with a porn star several years ago, it’s enough for the bureau to raid the office of the president’s attorney.

Why? It’s all about the money.

Haitham al Mhana is the chief operator of the UnCut Report, where a version of this commentary appeared. He specializes in free market economics, gun rights, federal overreach in the Western States and foreign policy.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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