Mueller has exposed James Comey

The summarized results of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation have been released and you have a right to be angry, America.

Politically stained leaders of the FBI, CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), in concert with politicians bereft of principle and a flaccid press, grabbed onto an obvious Russian intelligence propaganda operation hook, line and sinker and ran with it like they were Vladimir Putin’s errand boys.

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Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe Mueller report concludes it was not needed Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Electronic surveillance isn't spying — it's much more powerful MORE, the fired deputy director of the FBI, infamously asserted during his recent book promotion tour that President TrumpDonald John TrumpForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Lara Trump: Merkel admitting migrants 'one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany' Financial satisfaction hits record high: survey MORE was an agent of the Russian government. Mueller, with his large team of Democratic Party-affiliated attorneys supported by FBI agents and analysts, disagreed.

If anyone looks like an unwitting agent of Russia now, it’s McCabe and his fired boss, former FBI director James ComeyJames Brien ComeySessions: It's time to accept the results of the Mueller report and move on Davis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Sarah Sanders is entitled to her opinions, but not her own facts MORE.  

Comey and McCabe came into possession of a “dossier” that was paid for by the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes Biden's announcement was a general election message, says political analyst MORE campaign and produced by a former British intelligence operative who reached into the ugliness of the Russian intelligence apparatus and asked for dirt on Donald Trump. Never known to pass up such a juicy opportunity to stir up trouble, the Russians happily obliged.

This, in the intelligence world, is known as an “active measures” effort. It is the use of propaganda to sow discord into the politics and culture of an adversary. Truth is not a prerequisite for these operations. Lies are the yeast in the dough.  

The dossier was blinking “Russian active measures” in bright neon lights. But an FBI director and deputy director chose to ignore the obvious and instead use this Russian farce to open an investigation into a presidential candidate and his campaign. It was a staggering abuse of the FBI’s legitimate authorities.

Such a move never would have been considered by experienced FBI counterintelligence agents operating in field offices. They would’ve immediately recognized the dossier for what it was.  

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But Comey’s and McCabe’s investigation was kept from real investigators and instead run out of the director’s office by a cabal of individuals proven to be politically biased against the target of their investigation.

James Comey bears particular responsibility for fomenting reckless abuse of FBI authorities and derivative damage to the American political system. The disruptions of the past two years caused by his foolhardy decisions are incalculable but, thankfully, now coming into sharper focus.  

He managed to both exonerate Hillary Clinton and blow up her campaign at the same time by grossly overstepping his job description.

He allowed the active measures dossier to be used as the basis for a monumental invasion of the privacy of an American citizen by manipulating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process. This, despite his stated belief that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.”  

He took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to publicly reveal the existence of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign during congressional testimony.  Comey claimed the American people had a right to know, but it was lost on no one that this was a ploy to keep the president from firing him.  

That didn’t work out so well for Comey but, in the meantime, he managed to convulse the country by breaking one of the FBI’s most sacrosanct rules: investigations are kept secret to protect the accused in the event the investigation comes up empty. Yes, even when the accused is a president.

Finally, Comey leaked — perhaps illegally — FBI records to the press to ensure, in his own words, that a special counsel would be created to continue the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.

A special counsel indeed was appointed and $30 million of the people’s money has been spent examining foolishness emanating from a Russian intelligence operation while politicians and cable TV pundits have roiled the country driving wedges amongst us. Listen carefully: you can hear the laughter from the Kremlin. James Comey is their favorite American.

Comey may yet regret his calculated actions. The special counsel investigation reached the only logical conclusion that it could have, since there was no adequate basis for the counterintelligence investigation in the first place. Comey has been exposed.

The question remains: should there be consequences for the reckless path carved by Comey and his inner-circle team that sent the country down this path, abusing and degrading an otherwise honorable FBI?

Abuse of justice may be worse than obstruction of justice. If we are to have faith that our system of justice does not overlook the powerful who misuse their positions and enrich themselves with books describing what they did, then, yes, the actions of James Comey should be criminally investigated and not simply subjected to an administrative inspector general report.

Mueller, curiously, offered no opinion as to whether the president may have obstructed justice throughout this long national circus. But Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrSessions: It's time to accept the results of the Mueller report and move on George Conway lashes out at 'Deranged Donald' on Twitter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump tells House investigators 'no' MORE and his deputy quickly, and on sound principle, closed that window by pointing out the obvious: when there is no underlying crime or conspiracy, there is nothing to obstruct.  

There likely will be a temptation to keep remnants of this investigation alive for purposes of political exploitation and cable news ratings. The Russians will be pleased, but there is a sense that the American people have had enough. Proceed at your own risk.  

Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions, which consults with private companies and public-safety agencies on strategic mission technologies.