Comey’s shameful and despicable book

There is only one good thing about James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Trump knocks Sally Yates ahead of congressional testimony MORE’s book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership."

So much has been leaked about this shameful, vain and horribly ill-advised book that anyone who has already paid for it could ask for his or her money back.

While I rarely use the word “hate” to describe my views, let me confess that I hate this book. I hate everything about it. I hate the fact that it was written in the first place.

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I hate the thought that it was written to make money by a man whose monumental misjudgments in October 2016 did more than any living American to prevent the first woman president, who had won the popular vote of the American people, from being inaugurated in January 2017. 

It was sickening to watch Comey lower himself to tell ABC, in an interview that will be fully aired this weekend to promote book sales, that he is not sure whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE once witnessed two prostitutes engage in repulsive acts in Moscow in 2013. This kind of garbage should be beneath the dignity and honor of any director or former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In the last 10 days of the 2016 campaign, Comey committed two shameful acts that violated the long-term practice of the Justice Department to not let ongoing investigations affect election results in the closing days of campaigns.

First, Comey should never have told the nation 10 days before the election that he was reopening the investigation of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts economic agenda in battleground Ohio The Memo: Campaigns gird for rush of early voting Trump's pitch to Maine lobstermen falls flat MORE. Comey did not have a shred of evidence, because there was no evidence, that newly discovered emails suggested any wrongdoing by anyone. 

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Comey should have said nothing publicly about the newly discovered emails and investigated them confidentially. Had he done this, he would never have said a word about this matter, because investigation proved there was no wrongdoing, and Comey would not have had such a huge impact defeating Clinton and electing Trump.

Second, 10 days before the election, there were two investigations ongoing. While Comey had wrongfully reopened the Clinton email investigation without any evidence, the FBI was also investigating Russian interference in the American election. 

Comey should have treated both investigations equally. He should not have discussed the Clinton investigation at all 10 days before the election, but if he insisted on doing so, he should also have discussed the Russia investigation in equal detail.

On Nov. 4, 2016, I called for the inspector general (IG) of the Department of Justice to investigate Comey’s pre-election role that did so much to damage the Clinton campaign and so much to benefit the Trump campaign by conduct that violated how the Department of Justice should handle ongoing investigations.

It is common knowledge that the IG has been investigating this subject for some time. It is inexcusable that he still has not released his report about Comey’s role before the 2016 election.

It is equally inexcusable that the IG’s work is now being weaponized by pro-Trump forces seeking to disrupt and destroy the investigation of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE.

James Comey should have delayed release of his book until after the Mueller investigation is concluded and after he had fulfilled his duty to justice as a crucial witness and central player in the sordid events that Mueller is investigating.

Some things are more important than book profits and movie deals, but not to Comey, who does no service to justice by releasing, promoting and profiting from this book before the Mueller investigation is complete.

One can only wonder what Mueller thinks of this book being released at this time. Comey also quotes former President Obama. offering him high praise for his behavior before the election.

One can only wonder what Hillary Clinton thinks of Obama’s high praise for Comey’s behavior that did so much to defeat her and elect Trump. 

The most loathsome and despicable failure of this book is that Comey expresses regret not for his monumental mistakes that helped Trump defeat Clinton, which he still claims were the proper actions, but for not doing a better public relations job defending these mistakes, which changed the course of American history, for which Comey will now be handsomely compensated.

As one who deplores Trump, I say shame on Comey for publishing this despicable book before the Mueller investigation is concluded.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.