The Comey Memo: Three Possible Reasons This Story is Breaking Now
So, the media is now reporting that President Trump leaned on FBI Director James Comey in a private February meeting, trying to get him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn. Supposedly, Comey wrote a memo immediately after the meeting, alleging that Trump said he “hoped” Comey could “let it go.” Democrats, and some Republicans, are now suggesting that Trump might have been guilty of obstructing justice in the meeting.
But the question many of Trump’s supporters are asking is this: Why did Comey wait until now to divulge this stunning charge against the president of the United States?
“If James Comey was so fastidious about updating the Congress every time there was a major break in the investigations that he had confirmed the FBI was involved with, it seems curious why this memo would only be surfacing now after he’s been fired,” said Fox News reporter James Rosen.
Curious indeed. As more than a few liberals have pointed out, the memo described by The New York Times could be grounds for impeachment. Now, you can argue that Comey was biding his time – perhaps in an effort to grab some job security for himself – but what does that say of the former FBI chief’s commitment to justice? We thought this was supposed to be a straight-shooter. Washington’s last Boy Scout. This living monument to principle is the guy who keeps little notes on standby in case, oh, who knows, he wants to take revenge on the guy who fired him?
On CNN, former Bush strategist Karl Rove said the memo – if found to actually exist – would introduce serious questions about Comey’s loyalty. Not to the president, but to democracy.
“It would seem that if the president said that and Comey thought it was incorrect or improper, he should have said to the president: ‘With all due respect, I don’t think that is a question you should be asking,'” Rove said. “If he thought it was getting into the gray area, then the best thing for him and for the president is for him to say, ‘Better that you never asked me those kinds of questions.'”
Not only does this supposed memo call Comey’s judgement into question, it would show that, once again, he decided to go outside the boundaries of Justice Department protocol. This was exactly the kind of thing that inspired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to write that letter last week blasting the FBI director for his actions during the Hillary Clinton investigation. If Comey was an immediate witness to an attempt by the president to obstruct justice, he had the moral and LEGAL obligation to report the incident directly to his superiors at the DOJ. By failing to do so, he would put HIMSELF in danger of facing criminal prosecution.
So we have three possibilities: One, this memo doesn’t actually exist. Two, it exists, but Trump’s message to Comey was far less threatening than the media is making it out to be. A mistake, yes, but the kind of mistake you would expect from someone who is a political neophyte who’s hoping that his close friend and advisor isn’t facing serious trouble. Or three, Comey violated the law and the trust of the American people by sitting on this explosive story.
And it’s a damn sad commentary on the state of American politics these days that we have no clue which one of these possibilities is the real one.
One thing is certain: It’s time for Comey to swear an oath before Congress and start clearing up some of these questions.