James Comey the often embattled but virtuous (at least in his own mind) FBI Director has turned himself into one of the most famous or infamous FBI directors in history, depending on your personal view of him. His involvement in the 2016 election is something democrats, and depending on how the Russian investigation turns out, Republicans will certainly remember forever.
In this fascinating article by the New York Times (link at the bottom). It walks us through the political mine field that Comey had to not only walk through, but lead multiple FBI investigations through. Investigations that at points even crossed over each other and intersected. Investigations that were at the center of a political and media firestorm the likes of which we have never seen before.
In the Times article it maps out the highly secure meetings that took place internally at the FBI, at the White House, and at the Department of Justice during this difficult time. It also does a great job of mapping out the spheres of influence and the thinking that was going on at the time between the three major government actors. Mostly President Obama, Comey himself and Loretta Lynch.
In the end it would seem that Comey navigated the mine field well for the FBI. But that had devastating consequences for the Clinton campaign and may be the bump that the Trump campaign needed to get over the hump to victory. The one tragic flaw to Comey’s action and leadership is that he knew about the Russia investigation the entire time, and never made that valuable information available to the public. Even though he helped make Hillary’s investigation a large public spectacle.
One of the most fascinating tid bits in the article is that Comey was actually deeply worried about Russian influence in the election and wanted to inoculate the public from their fake news propaganda by telling the public what was going on, but was actually blocked by the Obama administration. Who did not want any appearance at all, of them trying to influence the election in Hillary’s favor.
Link to the New York Times article here.