James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide

James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide
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It is very sobering and a little frightening to realize that the top two officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were dishonest.

To fully understand just how dishonest, self-serving and reckless former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyNYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe accuses Trump officials of withholding evidence in lawsuit over firing McCabe: Being accused of treason by Trump 'quite honestly terrifying' Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us MORE were during their service, you don’t have to believe me, you only need to read three sources: The memorandum written by Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE that led to Comey’s firing, the Office of the Inspector General’s report investigating McCabe’s actions as deputy director, and Stewart Baker’s recent article, “The Low Tragedy of Andrew McCabe.”


Reading and examining these three documents together will give you a sense of just how vast and dangerous the swamp has become.

Rosenstein’s memorandum outlining the “serious mistakes” made by Comey during the 2016 Clinton email investigation concluded that Comey was wrong to overstep his authority as FBI director and announce his recommendation that the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Democrats plot new approach to win over rural voters The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Rosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts MORE's emails be closed during a press conference.

According to Rosenstein, Comey’s public recommendation to the Justice Department was an abuse of Comey’s power and an overextension of his authority. The FBI’s role in a federal investigation is to determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute a case, while the attorney general designates authority to a federal prosecutor, who then makes a prosecutorial decision.

Rosenstein, quoting former attorney general Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, stated that Comey “ ‘stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion’ because the FBI director ‘doesn’t make that decision.’ ”

The memo also quotes President Obama’s attorney general, Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderParties to wage census battle with outside groups Welcome to third-world democracy and impeachment Uber settles sexual harassment charges for .4 million MORE, who asserted that Comey’s decision, “was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions.” Holder determined that it ultimately “broke with … fundamental principles” and “negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.”

Many other attorneys general and deputy attorneys general quoted throughout the memo strongly objected to Comey’s actions, bringing Rosenstein to the conclusion that:

“Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”

Rosenstein came to the conclusion that trust in the FBI could not be restored “until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”

This was the report President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE received just before firing Comey.

More recently, the report issued by the Office of the Inspector General investigating the allegations directed toward former Deputy Director McCabe further weakened public and congressional confidence in the FBI.

It reaffirmed that Comey’s improper ways were not the activities of an outlier but, more than likely, representative of the norm.

The inspector general found that McCabe leaked unflattering information about an ongoing investigation to the Wall Street Journal, then proceeded to mislead then-Director Comey about who was the source of the leak and, later, misled investigators on several other occasions.

The information leaked to the Wall Street Journal was used to construct a piece that painted McCabe in a positive light; however, the inspector general concluded that “McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation … violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.” Only in the case of “public interest” could this information have been exempt — “personal interest” provides no grounds of justification.

Moreover, the report found that:

“McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ.”

Stewart Baker points out in his article for Lawfare that the crime committed by retired three-star Army general and national security adviser Michael Flynn very closely resembled the corrupt acts of McCabe – ultimately, “a lie to avoid taking political blame for a conversation.”

But look at how differently the elite media and the bureaucracy have treated McCabe, compared to Flynn.

While Flynn is selling his house in Virginia to pay for growing legal fees, McCabe raised over half a million dollars through a “legal defense fund” GoFundMe campaign.

Rep. Maxine Walters (D-Calif.) posted a tweet after Flynn pleaded guilty writing, “Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up, lock him up.” In contrast, after McCabe was fired, multiple government staffers offered him jobs.

Similarly, Comey is capitalizing on the vastness of the bureaucracy and biased protection of the elite media in releasing his bogus “tell-all” novel and embarking on a month-long, nationwide book tour. Rosenstein’s memo made it clear that Comey made critical errors in his management of the FBI, but Comey continues to think that he did nothing wrong and is now making money off of the American people he wronged.

Remember: Comey and McCabe held the number one and number two ranking spots in our country’s premier law enforcement agency and, with that, the responsibility of ensuring the livelihoods and maintaining the trust of the American people.

Unfortunately, it is now abundantly clear that this trust had been misplaced. Comey and McCabe each engaged in acts that were in blatant violation of the law. Yet, to date, neither has been held to the level of public criticism and accountability he should have been.

I strongly encourage everyone to read the Rosenstein memo, the Inspector General report, and “The Low Tragedy of Andrew McCabe” by Stewart Baker.  

You read and you decide if justice has been served.

Newt Gingrich is a former speaker of the House and host of Defending America, an online course on protecting fundamental American values. He is also a senior scientist with Gallup.