Just days after an unredacted section of a House Intel Committee report revealed a whole new set of lies and distortions promulgated by senior officials at the FBI during the tenure of former Director James Comey, the “A Higher Loyalty” author was back making the media rounds. But this time he focused his anger on a former colleague: Former New York Mayor and US Attorney Rudy Giuliani.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Comey said he is “disappointed and disgusted” with Republican attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation – a comment that was clearly directed at Giuliani, given his widely publicized anti-Mueller media blitz last week (during which he famously divulged some information that deviated from the White House’s message).
Giuliani, echoing a now-famous line frequently tweeted by Trump, blasted the Mueller probe as a witch hunt that has overreached from its original purpose of investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
“The special counsel so far seems to think that Comey is Moses,” Giuliani said. “And I happen to think Comey is Judas.”
The former prosecutors also suggested that Comey may have intentionally lied to Mueller about his interactions with Trump to create a “perjury trap” for the president.
Comey had most recently taken umbrage over Giuliani’s comment likening the FBI agents who carried out the Michael Cohen raids to “stormtroopers”, which Comey claimed was tantamount to calling them nazis. Of course, Giuliani denied that this was his intent.
“They’re not just criticizing the investigators,” Comey said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “They’re attacking the entire institutions of justice, and that’s what makes this unprecedented in my experience.”
Comey, 57, a longtime Republican who was fired a year ago by Trump, said he no longer considers himself a member of the party.
“I’m shocked, disappointed and disgusted,” Comey said of the GOP. “I don’t know what it stands for honestly, and it’s going to have to answer those questions.”
Mueller’s appointment followed Trump’s ouster of Comey on May 9 of last year. “Happy anniversary,” quipped Comey, who’s on an extended tour to promote his best-selling book, “A Higher Loyalty,” which tears into Trump as morally unfit for the presidency and compares his actions to those of a Mob boss.
On the subject of a potential White House subpoena, Comey said he wasn’t sure whether a sitting president could be forced to comply with a prosecutor’s subpoena.
Comey said he wasn’t sure if Mueller can compel Trump to testify by subpoena if he refuses to sit down for a voluntary interview, or if a sitting president can be indicted by the Justice Department. While an existing legal memo from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel rules out an indictment, Comey said it could be rescinded and changed.
But in perhaps the interview’s most baffling moment, Comey praised Mueller for, among other things, running a tight ship with “no leaks”. Never mind that the Mueller team has tolerated a torrent of embarrassing leaks about Trump and his associates.
“My view is, having participated in complex investigations, this one is moving very quickly and a whole lot of evidence of the productivity has emerged in the charges they’ve brought publicly — guilty pleas and indictments,” Comey said. “The way Bob Mueller is operating is the way it’s supposed to operate. No leaks. No updates on the progress of his investigation other than public charges. Our justice system is just designed that way.”
The attacks on Mueller’s investigation could indicate a consciousness of guilt, Comey said.
“What it definitely demonstrates is an utter lack of appreciation for the core values of this country and the things that matter above all the normal everyday disputes in this country,” Comey said, returning to his concern about what he considers the compromises being accepted by supporters of the president.
“Tax cuts are important. Immigration is important. Guns are important,” he said. “But none of them are as important as the values that make this country what it is. I just think it’s a fool’s bargain, including among faith leaders who think they’re making a trade to gain something. All we have is our values.”
And in what was probably his most sanctimonious moment, Comey declared that while tax cuts that boost the pay of middle class workers and immigration laws that keep America safe are “important” – these priorities can never be subordinated to America’s “values.”
What those might be, we leave to you.
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