Former FBI Director James Coemy was berated by people on both sides of the aisle during his tenure in government. Now that Comey is retired, he’s hitting back.
As Comey continues his book tour across the country and is participating in a number of interviews, he is revealing more of the book’s contents – ahead of its release later this week.
While people quickly learned of the book’s anti-Trump tone, people may be surprised to know Comey takes swipes at former President Barack Obama.
As Fox New reports, Comey “ripped former President Barack Obama for comments made during the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, suggesting he ‘jeopardized’ the Justice Department’s ‘credibility.’”
The former FBI Director said Obama misguidedly said there was nothing to the Clinton investigation ahead of the FBI’s decision not to prosecute her. Comey argued that the comments, which were repeated in a later interview, forced the FBI to reach a certain decision. “The president has told them what result they should reach,” Comey said.
Per Fox News:
In his first interview since leaving his post in May 2017, Comey sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos to discuss everything from the 2016 election to the Russia meddling probe to the now-infamous Trump dossier.
But in a portion of the interview that did not air during ABC News’ Sunday night special, Comey also criticized Obama with regard to his comments on the Clinton email probe.
“We had the problem that President Obama had twice publicly basically said, ‘There’s no there, there.’ In an interview with—on Fox, an interview on ’60 Minutes,’ I think. Both times he said that. So that’s his Justice Department,” Comey said, noting that it “really did surprise” him.
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“He’s a very smart man and a lawyer. And so it surprised me. He shouldn’t have done it. It was inappropriate,” Comey said.
Here’s the interviews Comey referenced:
In October 2015, Obama told “60 Minutes” that Clinton had made a “mistake” with her private email server use but it did not endanger national security. In April 2016, he told “Fox News Sunday” that national security was not endangered, and Clinton would never “intentionally” put the country in jeopardy.
When asked in his latest ABC interview whether Obama could have been trying to “color” the Clinton case, Comey said he was unsure.
“I think he felt a pressure in the political environment because he wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected, to give her a shot in the arm, and so he spoke about an investigation. And he shouldn’t have done that,” Comey said. “But as you can imagine, creating this drumbeat that the Obama Justice Department, the fix is in because the president has told them what result they should reach.”
In an excerpt from the book, obtained via Washington Examiner, Comey said Obama’s comments backed the FBI into a corner – perhaps even forcing them to make a decision they otherwise wouldn’t. “How on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead,” Comey asked.
Check it out:
“Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President Obama. He had jeopardized the Department of Justice’s credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton’s email use was “a mistake” that had not endangered national security,” Comey writes. “Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government.”
“President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well. To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead.”
“The truth was that the president — as far as I knew, anyway — he had only as much information as anyone following it in the media. He had not been briefed on our work at all. And if he was following the media, he knew nothing, because there had been no leaks at all up until that point. But, his comments still set all of us up for corrosive attacks if the case were completed with no charges brought.”