Former FBI Director James Comey took to his pulpit earlier today to pronounce judgement on President Trump, Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In a New York Times op-ed, clearly taking the side of special counsel Robert Mueller, he wrote:
But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. Amoral leaders [reference to Trump] have a way of revealing the character of those [reference to Barr and Rosenstein] around them.
What happened to these people? People are complicated, so the answer is most likely complicated. But I have some idea from four months of working close to Mr. Trump and many more months of watching him shape others.
I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein, Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from.
Comey was angry after reading Tuesday night’s Washington Post article about Mueller’s letter to Barr in late March. Mueller wrote to say that Barr’s four-page summary had failed to “fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the report. I wrote about that here.
In the op-ed, Comey asked, “How could Mr. Barr go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and downplay President Trump’s attempt to fire Mr. Mueller before he completed his work?”
He also criticized the resignation letter which Rosenstein submitted to Trump on Monday, asking how he could “on resigning, thank a president who relentlessly attacked both him and the Department of Justice he led for “the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations”?”
He then wrote about former Defense Secretary James Mattis, for whom he holds tremendous respect. Mattis “resigned in December, one day after Trump announced that he would withdraw troops from Syria.” Comey wrote, “James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man.”
Comey added, “It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.”
The measure Comey gives may soon become the measure he receives when the Inspector General’s report about FISA Court violations is released in the next month.
Last week, former U.S. Attorney and FISA Court Judge Joe DiGenova told a Fox News panel that an additional report was due out soon which is focused on Comey alone. However, he did not offer any specific information about it. DiGenova said, “There’s another report that everyone has forgotten about involving James Comey alone. That will be out in two weeks. That report is going to be a bombshell. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note, and there are going to be criminal referrals in it.”
Comey’s full op-ed can be read here.