Comey: 'Greatest punishment' for Trump after Capitol riot is to 'move past' his presidency

Comey: 'Greatest punishment' for Trump after Capitol riot is to 'move past' his presidency
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Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE said the worst punishment President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE can receive for inciting a mob of his supporters to attack the Capitol last week is being ignored by the American public after he leaves office. 

"The president needs to be sanctioned for his behavior and held accountable. I think it is important that he be impeached," Comey said Tuesday during an interview on the "Today" show. “I still think it would be better for this country if we move past a fallen and corrupt president, and turned off the television lights on him, which in some ways, would be the greatest punishment he could imagine.”

Since supporters of the president stormed the Capitol building last week, critics have said Trump incited the violent outburst and suggested he be held criminally liable for enflaming political tensions after losing the November presidential election. 


Democrats have introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of "inciting insurrection" against the American government. 

During a rally on the White House Ellipse on Wednesday morning, Trump urged his supporters to march on the Capitol and display "strength" in supporting his objections to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFour members of Sikh community among victims in Indianapolis shooting Overnight Health: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J On The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes MORE's election win.

"You'll never take our country back with weakness," Trump said. 

Comey, who has been critical of Trump since his firing in 2017, in a new book suggested the president not be prosecuted or pardoned by Biden for the good of the nation. 

“Whether or not our next president pardons Donald Trump, and whether or not the Department of Justice pursues him, the American people should be told why," Comey wrote in a new book


One Republican lawmaker, Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseToomey warns GOP colleagues to stay away from earmarks Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks To encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision MORE (Neb.), suggested over the weekend Trump enjoyed watching the chaos at the Capitol last week. 

“As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building,” Sasse said during a radio interview. “That was happening. He was delighted.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyKinzinger: Republicans who join 'America First' caucus should be stripped of committees McCarthy: GOP not the party of 'nativist dog whistles' Pro-Trump lawmakers form caucus promoting 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MORE (R-Calif.) told his caucus on a call Monday that Trump acknowledged to him some responsibility for Wednesday's events.  

Comey said Trump has damaged public trust in the election process by peddling false or misleading claims of voter fraud and it is incumbent on elected leaders to clear the "fog of lies" he said Trump has created. 

"You can't shout at people to convince them that they've been defrauded. One of the hardest things in the world is for a victim of a fraud, of lies, to admit they were fooled," Comey said. "I worked criminal cases where the victims of a fraud would come to support the fraudster after he pled guilty. It is not about shouting at them. It is about coaxing them and urging them and letting them out of that fog of lies.

"It is a really hard thing that takes years, and it will take years, but it is hastened by them seeing competent, honest, empathetic leadership, which I think they're going to see starting January the 20th, as we heal this country, both spirituality and from this virus," he added.