James Comey, former FBI director, was just found by the eyes of the Justice Department’s inspector general to have “violated Department and FBI policies” and his “FBI Employment Agreement” with his “retention, handling and dissemination of certain Memos,” the released report stated.
The report also made clear there’ll be no prosecution.
But Comey, instead of wiping his brow, breathing a sigh of relief and saying his Hail Marys a thousand times or so, took to Twitter to mock President Donald Trump — along with anyone over the past few months who’ve dared challenge his Boy Scout image and question his political motivations.
In a tweet, Comey crowed: “DOJ IG ‘found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.’ I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice.”
He added this, in a separate tweet: “And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’ — ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”
But here’s the thing: The IG may have concluded that Comey didn’t leak classified information when he passed along his memos of private conversations with Trump to a friend — the content of which ultimately ended up in the pages of The New York Times. And in that respect, Comey escapes prosecution.
But the IG did slap Comey’s wrist nonetheless.
“We conclude,” the report stated, The Daily Mail reported, “that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”
The report goes on to find that “Comey’s characterization of the Memos as personal records finds no support in the law and is wholly incompatible with the plain language of the statutes, regulations and policies defining Federal records, and the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement.”
In layman’s, that means Comey may not have broken the boundaries of the law — but he certainly violated the spirit of the law.
He didn’t handle memos the way he should have, he didn’t handle them in the way any high-ranking supposedly squeaky clean, ethical member of the FBI understands as proper. He didn’t keep personal conversations with the president to his personal self.
And now he’s snaking more by gloating of his snakiness.
Well, let him. Let Comey have his “aw shucks” moment in the sun. Let him thumb his nose at Trump — at his naysayers in America — and brag on his innocence.
His Boy Scout badge has been forever removed.
And for a personality like Comey’s — one that basks in the glory and admiration of others, all the while feigning boy-next-door innocence and humility and simple service to others — the loss of gold stars in fans’ eyes is nearly as tough to bear as prison bars.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ckchumley.
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