Well, tell us how you really feel, Piers Morgan.
In a column for the Daily Mail, Morgan eviscerated former FBI Director James Comey in the wake of the inspector general’s report, calling him “smug” and saying that “the deep swamp whitewash may turn very dark very soon.”
Morgan began the piece with an anecdote about a goalie for a soccer team who celebrated during a shootout when the ball hit the top post. When the ball hit the ground, it spun backward, falling into the goal as the goalie celebrated.
“The moral of this tale is that unless you’re absolutely 100% certain you’ve won something, it’s best not to hold a victory lap,” Morgan wrote in the Tuesday piece. “Former FBI Director James Comey doesn’t seem to have got that memo.”
“Within hours of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s long-awaited report into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia collusion investigation, Comey had an op-ed published in today’s Washington Post,” he continued.
“In it, he boasts proudly of his complete and utter vindication of any wrongdoing.”
Comey tweeted about it, too.
“So it was all lies,” the former FBI director said. “No treason. No spying on the campaign. No tapping Trumps wires. It was just good people trying to protect America.”
So it was all lies. No treason. No spying on the campaign. No tapping Trumps wires. It was just good people trying to protect America. https://t.co/9nurCaIBq2
— James Comey (@Comey) December 9, 2019
This, Morgan said, shouldn’t have been the takeaway.
“Mr Comey’s never been shy in wrapping himself in a Superman cloak — the fearless super-powered good guy standing up to all the baddies like President Trump,” he wrote.
“Yet rather like the … goalkeeper, it didn’t take long for Comey’s vainglorious victory lap to rebound rather badly in his prematurely smug face.”
How so? Well, as Morgan pointed out, there are issues with the IG report that don’t look particularly great for Comey.
The British journalist wrote that “whilst it’s entirely true that IG Horowitz concluded the FBI investigation had been launched properly, and that he found no evidence of political bias behind the decisions to probe various Trump 2016 election campaign associates including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, what he also uncovered should have rendered Comey shame-faced and apologetic — not ecstatically spraying champagne.”
This included “a staggering 17 ‘significant inaccuracies and omissions’ in the four applications, which were made due to the FBI’s flawed belief that Page had been ‘collaborating and conspiring’ with the Russian government.”
Then there was the Steele dossier, a document that played a major part in the FISA warrant.
Comey said the dossier was “salacious and unverified,” Morgan noted. Yet, it still ended up forming a “central and essential role” in the decision to pursue Page.
Morgan also cited NBC’s Pete Williams, a journalist who certainly doesn’t fall under the category of Republican apologist.
“What [the report] says is the FBI basically repeatedly screwed up at every level,” Williams said, noting that the bureau was guilty of “failing to pay enough attention to potential problems with Steele and failing to tell the Justice Department.”
The report “says the application was inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported,” he said.
“The IG is so concerned with these problems, that the FBI so mishandled this FISA application into an investigation into a candidate for president, then how is it doing for common-or-garden people who are subject to these warrants? For that reason, the IG is now opening a new investigation into how the FBI gets these FISA warrants on American citizens,” Williams said.
That’s not something to be doing a victory lap over. Morgan was unsurprisingly unimpressed.
“The FBI launched a major investigation into a presidential candidate that involved extensive spying on his campaign team,” he wrote.
“During the process of that investigation, the bureau lied, faked documents, and routinely declined to inform the courts of incredibly relevant information that might have dramatically changed the course of the whole Russia collusion scandal.
“It beggars belief that its officials did all this by simple mistake, particularly given the visceral hatred many of those involved clearly have for Donald Trump.”
He also shared words from U.S. Attorney John Durham, who’s doing his own investigation into the origins of the Trump investigation: “Our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Based on the evidence collected to date, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
“In other words, they have a lot more information than Horowitz, and it could prove devastating to James Comey’s claims of vindicated innocence,” Morgan wrote. “In fact, the deep swamp whitewash may turn very dark very soon.
“To return to my soccer analogy, Comey thinks the game’s all over and he’s won. But the ball’s still in play … and the net’s closing in.”
Maybe not for Comey. After all, nobody is going to be charging Comey with anything.
However, that doesn’t mean his reputation can’t be destroyed. That’s not entirely unlikely, particularly given the 17 errors pointed out in the report.
Now’s not the time for a victory lap, particularly given the fact that this could be just the beginning for Comey.
Piers Morgan isn’t going to be the only liberal unloading on him like this, after all.
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