James Comey Week continues today, with the release of his new book, A Higher Loyalty. Gums still flap, from coast to coast, since Comey’s Sunday night interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. President Donald J. Trump probably is itching like poison ivy right now to comment further on Comey and his self-righteous duplicity.
Trump should lead himself not into this temptation. In fact, as painful as might find it, he should avoid further statements, via Twitter or otherwise, on Comey and his tome.
The goal of Comey and Trump’s other enemies is to distract the president from his job, which is to make America great again. Our chief executive cannot unite the nation and perform at his peak so long as his foes drag him to the ground and wrestle with him in the mud. The Trump haters know this, and they behave accordingly.
Instead, Trump should deploy his supporters to attack Comey and do so consistently by asking him several very tough, fact-based questions that he will find embarrassing to answer:
* Why did you start drafting your July 5, 2016, exoneration statement of Hillary Clinton that May 2, fully two months before the FBI interrogated her and 17 other key witnesses?
* What made you believe, before the FBI spoke with her or these 17 other key witnesses, that Hillary Clinton had committed no crimes? What did you already know that your agents had yet to learn?
* The standard for conviction under the Espionage Act 18 U.S. Code § 793 is “gross negligence,” not “extreme carelessness.” Where on Earth did you get the power to change this federal statute to require a totally different standard of proof than the one that Congress wrote into law? You let Hillary Clinton off the hook because, you said, she did not perpetrate “intentional” mishandling of classified data. The Espionage Act does not mention intent. It’s governed by the “gross negligence” standard. Why did you invent this new Comey standard, rather than follow the law, as Congress adopted it?
* The FBI immunized Hillary’s aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuels. As part of that deal, the FBI agreed to destroy their laptops. Why would the FBI agree to demolish evidence even before a trial had occurred?
* Does the FBI routinely obliterate evidence before finishing investigations or allowing trial juries to see and evaluate such evidence?
* Why did you leak your official notes of your meetings with President Trump to Professor Daniel C. Richman, your friend at Columbia University Law School, so that he could forward them to journalists?
* Under 18 U.S. Code § 641, it is a felony for federal employees to “steal, sell or convey” government property, including any “record.” You, Mr. Comey conveyed these official records to Richman. If convicted for this misdeed, you could be fined and/or face up to a year in prison. Why should you not be investigated by the FBI for this action?
Team Trump and its supporters should get their talking points together and ask these same questions — on TV, talk radio, op-ed pages, and at Comey’s public appearances. Repeating them will educate the American people on what a non–Boy Scout the once-pristine Comey turned out to be. Everyone on the right should focus on Comey’s totally inappropriate behavior and unmask him as the fake that he is.