Keep Your Powder Dry, Comey Is Not Out of the Woods by Larry C Johnson

Larry Johnson-5x7

There is no doubt that Jim Comey was part of a conspiracy to destroy Donald Trump and his Presidency. But all the evidence is not yet on the record. There is some understandable frustration reverberating around the web that Comey is not being indicted in the wake of the latest Inspector General report detailing Jim Comey's inappropriate and unethical handling of Government material. But that is not the role of the Inspector General. It is up to DOJ to prosecute and a careful reading of the current report makes clear that there was not adequate foundation to get an indictment and prosecute.

However, if you believe that Jim Comey is getting a pass and will get away with corrupt activity, let me suggest you are overreacting and that patience is warranted. Comey is not out of the woods.

My only previous experience with Bill Barr was the role he played in making sure that the two guys who planted the bomb on Pan Am 103 were prosecuted. Barr was a straight shooter and would not cut corners. I also am friends with a person who worked directly for him during that period. That person insists that Barr is not going to let Comey and Brennan and Clapper off the hook. But that person also has reminded me that Barr will do it by the book and do it fairly.

With that predicate, I want you to focus on the core of today's Inspector General report. It is very simple and concise:

The focus of the OIG's investigation was to determine whether Comey violated Department or FBI policies, or the terms of his FBI Employment Agreement, in his handling of the Memos during and after his tenure as FBI Director.

Memos 2 and 7 contained small amounts of information classified at the “CONFIDENTIAL” level. The FBI designated Memos 4, 5, and 6 as unclassified, “For Official Use Only.”

Comey was removed as FBI Director on May 9, 2017, Comey still had copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 in his personal safe at home.

[t]he Inspector General Act of 1978, the OIG provided a copy of [these] factual findings to the Department for a prosecutorial decision regarding Comey's conduct. . . After reviewing the matter, the Department declined prosecution.

As described in this report, we conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.4 

I repeat, Comey violated Department of Justice and FBI policies and violated his FBI Employment Agreement. If he had taken classified memos home and stored them then he would have been indicted. But he did not engage in criminal activity with respect to classified information. He consciously and deliberately took steps to not keep classified information at his house. This is quite different from the conduct of Hillary Clinton, who knowingly and intentionally kept classified information on her unclassified, private server.

Jim Comey is stupidly taking a victory lap over this report and insisting that he is vindicated. I once considered Comey to be a smart person. Clearly he is not. He just pretends to be. His behavior today reveals an immaturity and hubris that confirms why he was fired in the first place as FBI Director.

This is the second Inspector General report that blasts Comey for unprofessional and unethical conduct. Being unprofessional and unethical is not illegal and does not guarantee a prison term.

The Inspector General is building a clear body of evidence that Jim Comey routinely and frequently violated Department of Justice and FBI policies and procedures. I want you to recall what the Inspector General said about Jim Comey and his July 2016 press conference on the Hillary Clinton investigation:

We determined that Comey’s decision to make this statement was the result of his belief that only he had the ability to credibly and authoritatively convey the rationale for the decision to not seek charges against Clinton, and that he needed to hold the press conference to protect the FBI and the Department from the extraordinary harm that he believed would have resulted had he failed to do so.

While we found no evidence that Comey’s statement was the result of bias or an effort to influence the election, we did not find his justifications for issuing the statement to be reasonable or persuasive. We concluded that Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct. We also found that Comey usurped the authority of the Attorney General, and inadequately and incompletely described the legal position of Department prosecutors.

The same conclusion with respect to Comey's handling of the Weiner laptop:

We found no evidence that Comey’s decision to send the October 28 letter was influenced by political preferences. . . .

Much like with his July 5 announcement, we found that in making this decision, Comey engaged in ad hoc decisionmaking based on his personal views even if it meant rejecting longstanding Department policy or practice. We found unpersuasive Comey’s explanation as to why transparency was more important than Department policy and practice with regard to the reactivated Midyear investigation while, by contrast, Department policy and practice were more important to follow with regard to the Clinton Foundation and Russia investigations.

Comey’s description of his choice as being between “two doors,” one labeled “speak” and one labeled “conceal,” was a false dichotomy. The two doors were actually labeled “follow policy/practice” and “depart from policy/practice.

we found it extraordinary that Comey assessed that it was best that the FBI Director not speak directly with the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General about how best to navigate this most important decision and mitigate the resulting harms, and that Comey’s decision resulted in the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General concluding that it would be counterproductive to speak directly with the FBI Director.

Why in the world does Jim Comey celebrate being known as the FBI Director who routinely departed from DOJ and FBI policy and practice. He did not follow the rules. He made up rules to suit his personal fancy. The fact that Comey thinks this is a worthy trait tells us everything we know about his lack of character and integrity.

Another critical Inspector General report on Russiagate is still pending and Comey faces great danger on this front. This one will cover the FBI's conduct with respect to the FISA warrant process. There is no doubt that Jim Comey lied to the FISA court in asserting that the information derived from the Steele Dossier was true and verified. But he will not be alone in this finding. Lying to a Federal court is a charge with weight and teeth. That is still hanging over Comey's head.

I think DOJ did the right thing in not trying to prosecute Comey over the memo's he drafted. It is a nuanced process crime and would be tough to present to a jury. Lying about the FISA warrant is completely different and more profound. Barr's Department of Justice should prosecute Comey and others on that issue. If they do not, then the cause of justice in our Republic will be dead. It is that simple. Justice is supposed to be blind in terms of not having a preconceived conclusion about guilt or innocence. This also means that your status and wealth should not provide you protection against being held accountable for illegal acts. The jury remains out with respect to what Attorney General Barr will do. I still give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

This entry was posted in Larry Johnson, Russiagate. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Keep Your Powder Dry, Comey Is Not Out of the Woods by Larry C Johnson

  1. Factotum says:

    Rogue FBI Director, Comey in the mold of J. Edgar Hoover. Drain the swamp. Going above, around and behind the law.
    Two systems of justice does not work in this country – that is an undercurrent message from both sides of the political spectrum and we both need to own up to it.

  2. doug says:

    Memo’s 2 and 7 contained classified (at Confidential) info and were taken home and stored in Comey’s safe.

  3. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova discuss with Lou Dobbs (the evening before the release of the IG report) their views on its (leaked) contents:
    eight minute video of Fox News interview, 2019-08-28

  4. Determined to be classified only after the fact and, as you note, at the Confidential level. No one would ever get a successful prosecution on that.

  5. blue peacock says:

    Larry
    I hope your instinct is correct about Barr.
    I reman skeptical that a true accounting of Russia Collusion and Epstein and Hillary’s breach of classified information and other instances of the shredding of the rule of law will take place as it will shatter these institutions. The institutional pressure to circle the wagons will be too strong not just within the FBI, CIA, DOJ bureaucracy but also among the establishment politicians.
    IMO, the only force that can open the can of worms is Trump. But it seems his fear of survival preclude that.

  6. doug says:

    I agree. It would be difficult. Not the sort of thing the DOJ should prosecute. And it wasn’t stuff he had on a home computer used on the web unlike a former CIA chief.

  7. John Minehan says:

    GEN (R) Petraeus (and his lawyers) might disagree . . . .

  8. John Minehan says:

    On HRC’s e-mails. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/thought-those-damn-e-mails-john-minehan?trk=portfolio_article-card_title
    Hard to prove gross negligence where the error was likely made by a third party on whom the defendant could reasonably rely.

  9. Diana C says:

    I hope your assessment that the DOJ (Barr) will likely handle the sniveling Comey is correct. If something doesn’t happen to that man, I will finally have to pay only for old Andy Griffith episodes in order to keep some sort of faith in American justice.
    The sad thing is that the half of American society that watch conservative news will already know the truth, but the other half that watch what Trump has labeled “fake news” will never be informed.
    I blame public education in many large modern high schools where social studies/history/geography teachers are most often coaches who “teach” by showing movies so they can plan their strategies for the next game. Their fawning student helpers get the privilege of scoring the T/F, fill-in-the-blank worksheets the students fill out as they watch a fictionalized movie of some event in history. (I’m telling you this based on years of teaching experience. Administrators don’t care since it is the sports program that is of most concern for the most vocal and wealthy parents.)

  10. Ken says:

    I hope your right but the handling of the Pan Am 103 hardly inspires confidence. There’s been numerous critiques of that investigation and to me it’s still an open matter.

  11. Factotum says:

    Don’t blame schools – blame the voters who allowed loss of control of their local school boards to the leftist teacher unions.
    How many actually still know who sits on their own local school boards ….and why? Used to be civic minded folks who invested public service in their local communities. Now they are hard core teacher union advocates.
    Until we change the direction of local school boards at the bottom of the food chain, we can never expect change to reach the top. The past generation of K-12 indoctrinated America haters now simply have to move through the system, like any other major generational shift.

  12. MP98 says:

    They’ll all walk….and make money from writing books about it.
    The swamp will ALWAYS protect their fellow swamp creatures.
    Since LBJ kick-started all government all the time and the Republicrats have expanded and expanded the swamp we have become 2 nations – the rulers and the ruled.
    We are not governed, we are ruled.

  13. Factotum says:

    JFK is the one who unionized government workers – that is when the great divide started – us against them.

  14. John Minehan says:

    If you want to make a difference at a local level, sit on a school board. However, local political parties tend not to see that.

  15. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Analysis of the IG report from

  16. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Another very useful (nine minute) video that has appeared:
    “Jim Jordan, Jason Chaffetz and Mollie Hemmingway react to the DOJ IG report, with Laura Ingraham”
    Listen to how impassioned Jim Jordan is about this issue, that Comey et al were “out to get the President”, that they were out to “trap the President”, and it all is the responsibility of Jim Comey!

  17. Diana C says:

    I just had an email exchange with the person in charge of keeping records for the “retired” members of the local NEA chaper. She, as I am, is sick of the NEA. But most keep membership because we have long-term insurance policies through the NEA.
    The district I retired from had an uprising during a recent election of school board member. People in favor of homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, etc. We elected. They were making changes, and I was very happy.
    Soon, however, a person couldn’t drive up either of the two major streets in the district without seeing teachers, parents, and students carrying signs about a recall effort. They eventually won and now the district has another NEA backed board.
    It should be illegal for the teachers to get parents and students involved. I saw the brainwashing all the time. Most parents are hoodwinked by the teachers, not realizing how little real education is going on in public schools.
    When I first began teaching in the early 70’s the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) tried to get in while the NEA was also trying–and lying by saying they were definitely NOT a union. They gained control.
    Most teachers (like me) joined because joining got us free legal representation if we needed it over a school-related issue.
    I never needed it, but I worked in the district where Columbine High School is located.
    The ONE teacher who tried hard to warn about those boys was the one sued by the family of the Black student victim because lawyers convinced them that she didn’t try hard enough and telling the boy’s parents it didn’t matter because she could depend on her home owners’s insurance (something along those lines). She was in court for years after and eventually won.
    Many teachers don’t want to join (as I didn’t), but I always Knew that as an English teacher I would get the whole spectrum of students. There is always the threat that a parent will sue for some reason. I was always very careful and never had a problem, but I did know some teachers who ended up having to use those NEA lawyers to defend themselves from students who lied to their parents, who brought legal action against them.
    Believe me, I know more and more teachers who are not in accord with the NEA and parents also. It exists to a large extent because they have parents hoodwinked about how noble their members are.
    The organization is a great thing to belong to if you are a teacher who is not there to teach.
    I could go on.but don’t have the time.

  18. robt willmann says:

    This article by Larry, “Keep Your Powder Dry, Comey Is Not Out of the Woods”, has been picked up by Zerohedge.com, a website with a very large number of viewers. It links back to SST–
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/keep-your-powder-dry-comey-not-out-woods
    One web traffic analyzer says that zerohedge.com had 44.36 million website visits for last month alone, in July–
    https://www.similarweb.com/website/zerohedge.com
    Good news!

  19. ex PFC Chuck says:

    Larry,
    It seems the FBI is still trying to cover its tracks. The Conservative Treehouse post linked below they’re trying to dodge passing on to General Flynn’s legal team all the info they’re entitled to in preparation to the pre-sentencing arguments:
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/08/30/government-refuses-to-grant-flynn-lawyer-security-clearance-also-refuse-to-produce-original-january-24th-fbi-report/

  20. turcopolier says:

    Robert Willman
    I don’t care. I only want the truth and The Republic.

  21. Factotum says:

    From Flynn’s new lawyer’s brief is the following legal conjecture, among others: merits?
    “Mr Flynn was (i) a subject of pretextual counter-intelligence investigation apparently resulting from an FBI/CIA operation routed through the Office of Net Assessment in the Department of Defense using Stephen Halper to smear him (Flynn) as an agent of Russia…….”
    DOD is now implicated with the FBI/CIA Russiagate caper?

  22. J says:

    Wish the AG would grow a set of balls and prosecute Comey and company for their criminal behavior, and not just talk about it.

  23. Factotum says:

    Additional insights and a new book about the deep state entrapment of President -Elect Donald Trump from the National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/08/trump-was-always-the-target-of-the-russia-investigation/

  24. CK says:

    It is worse if they are prosecuted and walk. Biding ones time and striking them when you have overwhelming superiority is much preferred to charging in half cocked and foolish. I don’t want to see them prosecuted, I prefer convicted, jailed and where appropriate executed.

  25. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Rudy says: “Brennan is the brains, Clapper is the idiot.”
    Also, RG definitely thinks Comey should be prosecuted, just on the basis of the current IG report on Comey’s leaks.
    Further, with regard to the 2017-01-06 briefing of Trump, RG says
    “Number 1, it was a clear entrapment …
    He [Comey] was trying to trap him, like he trapped Flynn
    .
    (2m32s and later in the video).

Comments are closed.