The Curious Case of Comey

There seems to be some confusion as we tried to share information about the circumstances surrounding James Comey's firing. And sadly, it seems to be related to the common habit of getting hopes up in the belief that any day now a magic bullet will be fired from a smoking gun that will vindicate everyone's disapproval of the President, forcing even the most devout loyalists to take a vow to spit on his grave, which we've constantly tried to warn people against. Comey's testimony is going to be important, but don't expect some kind of earth shattering revelation. This is real life, not a movie.

In preparation we've sought out info to try to piece together details about what has happened, when, and why, as have many other people. People talk. Based on the limited information that has been circulating the fact that the President tried to interfere with FBI investigations seems clearly evident. The conversation details that are known don't really allow any other reasonable interpretation. It is also clearly evident that Comey recognized the President's intentions. Not only did he make the decision to start memorializing those conversations (which Comey now acknowledges was not normal for him), but he sought out assistance.

But that raises a question about why Comey wouldn't report this to Congress, or why he might not have escalated the matter into an investigation for possible criminal obstruction. We don't have all the information to give a clear answer to that question, but what we've been able to learn so far seems to suggest that Comey had a reason for delaying. We have no reason to believe that he had any kind of sinister reason (and we never said anything to imply such). But there seems to have been a miscalculated secondary objective that was also on Comey's radar.

While it's speculative, there is a theory emerging by some that Comey may have wanted to lead the President to falling into a trap of his own making. Comey may have been trying to carefully give the President a false sense of security in hopes that the President would serve up even more damning evidence or behavior. His reasons may have been varied. Apparently Comey felt like his reputation had been damaged after his handling of the Clinton email scandal and he may have thought that leading an investigation that takes down the President might have been redemption. He may have thought that a let him hang himself with his own rope would be the good way to find whatever answers he was looking for.

Whatever his exact reasons, if any of this turns out to be true it would call into question Comey's judgment. Those could be dangerous gambits for an FBI Director to justify. And Comey might be now realizing that he attempting to rebuild his reputation backfired and could ultimately further tarnish his reputation before all is said and done. What we know so far is that Comey's explanations seem to be walking a careful path, as if trying to avoid some kind of culpability. In the absence of any reason to believe that he has any kind of criminal wrongdoing to hide, professional culpability would seem to be the only explanation available.

While none of this in any way exonerates the President's actions, it could be an unfortunate complication in trying to uncover the full truth in every detail. Only time will tell.