His point isn’t made often enough about Comey even though to some extent it’s self-evident. Deputies naturally bite their tongues about their superiors. Of course you wouldn’t expect Comey to badmouth Trump if he were still working for him at the FBI. It’d be insubordination. But Comey’s complaints about POTUS aren’t run-of-the-milll business like “he’s mean” or “he’s a poor manager.” He’s criticized him in dire terms, at one point in last night’s interview concluding that Trump is “morally unfit” to hold office and “does not reflect the values of this country.” The title of his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” summarizes his view that there are more important things than loyalty to one’s professional superior, even if he’s the president of the United States.
To which Gowdy replies: Then why not resign and raise the alarm before Trump fired you? There’s every reason to think Comey would still be biting his tongue about Trump a year later if POTUS had decided against firing him after all. His critique inescapably comes off as a grudge because of that inconvenient fact.
More than one FBI agent was unhappy with last night’s interview too, per the Daily Beast:
Seven current or former FBI agents and officials spoke throughout and immediately after the broadcast. There was a lot of anger, frustration, and even more emojis—featuring the thumbs-down, frowny face, middle finger, and a whole lot of green vomit faces…
A current FBI official said it was bizarre that Comey seemed so pleased with the whole episode. “It’s how happy he looked on TV while cashing in on the biggest mistake in history. His mistake,” they said. “Jim Comey made that mistake. We all just wonder what could have been and what we could’ve done to change it.”…
One longtime Team Comey source—who is still an FBI agent—sent thumbs-up emojis repeatedly during the first half hour, but even this loyalist began to lose patience by the halfway mark—sending a frowny face. A few minutes later there was a nauseous emoji, and then a poop emoji after the final segment.
The strangest part is Comey warning sternly against politicizing the FBI during an interview which ended with him all but endorsing the Democratic nominee for president in 2020. His justification for speaking publicly about Emailgate in 2016 was that the public needed to have faith in the neutrality of the FBI. With Obama in charge of the executive branch and an Obama appointee as Attorney General who’d been caught talking to Bill Clinton privately while the investigation played out, a one-line statement from the DOJ announcing that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be charged simply wouldn’t have cut it. Republicans would have screamed that the fix was in. So Comey, to prevent politicization of the Bureau’s decision not to recommend charges against Clinton, went out there before the cameras and gave his reasoning. The FBI is neutral!
And now here he is, two years later, essentially joining the Resistance on national television. Not a good moment for the Bureau. This wasn’t a good moment either:
Some part of me feels sorry for Comey. But his comments that Trump may have been compromised by the Russians is irresponsible. A former FBI director shouldn’t speculate. Show evidence or be sure, “may” is not a thing. “I don’t know” is the right answer. #ComeyInterview
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) April 16, 2018
A “just the facts, ma’am” lawman, when asked if the Russians have something on Trump, should say “I’ve seen no evidence to support that” and leave it at that. Instead, not only did he shrug at the insinuation, he also shrugged at the possibility that the sleaziest allegation in the Steele dossier might be true — even though he has no evidence to support that either. You’d expect a longtime prosecutor turned FBI director to do better than essentially to invite Trump to somehow prove a negative about his own behavior, especially knowing that last night’s interview was a rare instance of the public getting to hear an FBI official speak informally about his beliefs.
If you can spare the time, start from the beginning and watch the whole Gowdy interview as he has thoughtful things to say about the Michael Cohen raid, Mueller’s and Rosenstein’s respective duties, and the Russiagate probe, whose justification he’s never doubted. The Comey segment is actually the only part of the interview where Gowdy took Trump’s side. HIs point on the Cohen raid is simple: Once Bob Mueller thought he had probable cause of criminal activity by Cohen, what else was he supposed to do except do what he did?