One doesn’t have to be a cynic to be cynical about the Justice Department’s decision not to hold former FBI Director James Comey accountable for what an Inspector General report called his violation of FBI policies and his setting a “dangerous example” in order to “achieve a personally desired outcome.”

This pretty much characterizes many of the president’s critics, who fully expected Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election and have become seemingly deranged in their responses ever since.

Comey reportedly broke several rules for which he will not be prosecuted. He took home memos detailing private meetings he had with the president and then disclosed their contents to a friend who he believed would leak them to The New York Times. His motivation was to make sure a special counsel would be appointed to investigate alleged “collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The Justice Department decided not to prosecute Comey, citing a lack of evidence that he “knew and intended to violate laws on handling classified information.” As FBI director, how could he not know of these things? Of course he had to know. If you think this mirrors Comey’s explanation of why Hillary Clinton would not be held legally accountable for her mishandling of classified information, you would be right. At the time, Comey said Hillary Clinton did not “intend to break the law.”

Is this the new standard? If it is, the prisons should be emptied because I’m sure every inmate would then claim he or she didn’t intend to break the law and therefore should be released.

The Inspector General noted: “By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees, and the many thousands more former FBI employees, who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.”

Taking to Twitter, Comey claimed the IG report vindicates him. That dissembling is reminiscent of some of Bill Clinton’s lies and Hillary’s, too.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee issued a statement: “[Comey’s] actions were disgraceful and part of a wider effort within the Obama Justice Department to undermine President Trump.” Who can credibly deny that, though many partisans will.

This isn’t over and Comey’s actions may yet be used as part of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s continuing investigation (expected to be concluded sometime this month) into whether false information was used to secure a FISA surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser. As The Washington Post reported, “That surveillance was based on the FBI’s suspicions that Page could be an agent of the Russian government. Page, who was never charged with a crime, has denied the accusation and accused the FBI of politically motivated surveillance that violated his civil liberties.”

The motivations behind Comey’s actions and those in the media who fanned the flames of collusion are now being revealed and should not come as a surprise. If the FISA warrant is shown to have been based on wrong information and the federal judge who issued it is shown to have been lied to, will the liars be prosecuted? They should be, but in the Comey-Clinton “no intention of breaking the law” era, I’m not betting on it.

This year marks Cal Thomas’ 35th year as a syndicated columnist. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

(41) comments

gary4books

MD1756 - I do know how government works. My response is "Piffle!"

threecents

When did the FNP become a conservative piece of garbage? (I just wanted to put that out there for the many who have written in or posted that the FNP is part of a vast liberal fake news conspiracy.)

hayduke2

[beam][beam][beam]

gabrielshorn2013

[beam][tongue][thumbup]🍺

DickD

To begin with, the tapes Comey took home were the ones he made himself.  Not to mention that was not a criminal matter either way.  And if Comey really wanted to, he could have spilled the beans on Trump, same as he did on Hillary.  The one difference being Trump was and is guilty.  Comey already paid the price for that.

BunnyLou

Comey, being the leader of the FBI, knows the requirements for classification of documents. When he leaked the documents to his friend and lawyers he violated the law. Anybody who says otherwise has never worked with or around them. One can only hope that he is charged later with infinitely more serious crimes. One that make him do time in the slammer.

gary4books

Inspector General wrote "NO CLASSIFIED information was disclosed."

shiftless88

Hey Bunny; read the stories, they were not classified

TomWheatley

Just curious if the tapes were 18 minutes long ...

Dwasserba

"Taking to Twitter, Comey claimed the IG report vindicates him. That dissembling is reminiscent of some of Bill Clinton’s lies and Hillary’s, too." Not to mention, He Who Shall Not Be Named. You're a funny guy, Cal!

public-redux

By Trump's standards, Comey was more exonerated than Trump himself.


rikkitikkitavvi

That makes no sense pub.

public-redux

Why not?

Dwasserba

Both were the most exonerated of any exonerated people anyone in the world ever heard of being exonerated

threecents

Because Trump has no standards, right?

public-redux

Trump's standards: Someone who did not have the authority to bring charges did not bring charges so Trump was exonerated, per Trump.



In Comey's case, someone who did have the authority to bring charges did not bring charges so Comey is even more exonerated than Trump, per Trump standards.

threecents

That's just controlling the narrative - his job as a reality TV producer and professional hypnotist.

MD1756

It unfortunately appears to be equal justice. Hillary Clinton wasn't held accountable nor apparently will Comey be held accountable. Even if their action didn't rise to the level to charge either of them with crimes, they were significant enough policy violations and the risks from their actions certainly should warrant docking their pay they earned. Implement rules that in the future would make actions like Clinton's and Comey's punishable with fines (pay back a portion of their salaries).

gary4books

If you want to claim that Clinton and Comey did bad things, it helps to cite where a judge and jury found them guilty. Otherwise, it is just so much self-serving blather. I say prove they did bad. And not by your evidence. What judge agreed?

MD1756

Gary, Violating policy is not the same as committing a crime. My statement was quite clear. No further explanation needed. Try re-reading my comment. Dick, I'd suggest fines to hurt them in their wallets. Make them pay back at least some of their salaries for the risks they took when violating their policies. Lower level people in the government would probably paid a much higher price than either Clinton or Comey did.

gary4books

OK. I can take your corretionsinto account and still say that all who said Clinton or Comey violated proecdurs or poliies were always authorized to set new policies or procedures. Just as the President is able to release information or even redraw a weather map.

MD1756

Gary, in response to your comment on my comment, now you are stretching it and should know that is not how the government works. When were either of the policies made known to their respective Departments/Bureaus? They weren't, therefore they were violations of the policies that existed. They policy changes that should be implemented are raising the penalties for serious violations of those policies. Some penalties for grant management are tougher than what Clinton or Comey have faced.

BunnyLou

Gary, you said you worked in intelligence, you should then know the rule and punishment for classification violations.

gary4books

I do. I also know the laws have procedures for dissemination of this informtion and who is able to do that part of the job. Thank you for your comment.

DickD

Hillary lost the election, Comey got fired and Trump won, how much worse can you get?

BunnyLou

It didn’t get eorse, it got a whole lot better. MAGA!!!

DickD

Only for members of the Trump cult.


threecents

Yah, being partly responsible for Trump winning the presidency is a punishment that will torture Comey and the Clintons for the rest of their lives.

gary4books

Most of the rest of us, too. Income taxes up 35%.

gary4books

As a rule of thumb I quoe "Never say this can not get worse. That can jinx you." But I do say they kept as much of their integrity and reputation as they could.

olefool

MD, Did you ever have your pay docked because of a screwup??? I didn't think so..

seanjames

so if Comey was so in the tank for Clinton, why did he make public an investigation into emails (that were all old and lead nowhere) a week before the election while keeping it under wraps that Trump was being investigated for far worse? no MAGAt has ever been able to explain how that possibly tracks in their diseased anti-trump conspiracy theory.



also hilarious that you'd quote Jim Jordan as some kind of bastion of following the law. why don't you google Richard Strauss and get back to us.

gabrielshorn2013

The composer?

Dwasserba

- who could forget his tone poem, "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," 'nuff said

seanjames

i should have clarified DR Richard Strauss. you know the guy sexually assaulted a bunch of kids while Jim Jordan knew and did nothing?

gabrielshorn2013

Interesting take on the story. We'll see where it leads.

armillary

Putin loves Cal Thomas' work. A very useful idiot. Not as useful as Trump, but there will always be a place at RT for Cal.


Comment deleted.
Dwasserba

I thought this week was, "find Alabama on a map"

shiftless88

You know you have gone overboard as a conspiracy theorist when you think that Trump's employees are somehow helping Comey.

gary4books

Accountable? For what? Not following past procedures? But he was the Director and should set procedures. No classified information was disclosed. So nothing was done. That is what the law calls for. No need for other considerations from the past to get in the way of justice.

hayduke2

There you go making sense Gary. Comey certainly isn’t a favorite of mine but he did nothing criminal

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