Hold the presses and quit your bitching! For all those complaining about the money and other resources being used to overthrow the duly elected United States government, it’s time to be quiet and pay attention. James Comey might well have changed everything with his reaction to accusations that he passed on classified information in the memos he released to a third party.
According to Department of Justice watchdogs, at least two of the memos Comey passed to a friend, who is a law professor at Columbia University, contained information deemed to be classified. That professor, following Comey’s instructions, then leaked parts of those memos to “The New York Times”. In Comey’s defense, some of it might have been classified after he passed it on.
Before his fans breathe too deep a sigh of relief, however, it’s instructive to look back at Comey’s rebuttal to Hillary Clinton’s those-emails-weren’t-marked-classified defense. He said, in part, “But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.” In other words, government officials should use some common sense when handling the nation’s secret information.
Of course, excuses abound, both from Comey and his supporters. He was the FBI Director, some say, so a document’s sensitivity was his call to make. Folks who believe that should reference the common-sense comment in the previous paragraph. Others claim the comparison of Comey’s memos to Clinton’s emails is a false equivalency. The emails, they say, were electronic communication between government officials, while Comey’s memos were simply handwritten notes. Once again, that common-sense comment seems to be the most appropriate response.
Comey himself provides the most entertaining justification for his actions, and it might be the crowning achievement of his government career. When asked if he had released classified government documents to a private individual, Comey said he didn’t think so since he considered those memos personal items. Yep, you read that right – giving sensitive government information to a private individual for the express purpose of leaking it to the press wasn’t really giving sensitive government information to a private individual for the express purpose of leaking it to the press since the information was contained in documents Mr. Comey considered his personal property.
Well, boy howdy! Everybody needs to just slow down and take a breath before hyperventilating from laughter. This cat might be onto something, here. He was the FBI Director, after all, so he must be at least half bright. If he’s allowed to slide because, well shucks, those little handwritten notes were just his stuff, then a whole lot of new precedents open up for the rest of us, and they could be pretty good.
For instance, a small business owner might believe that every single expense he or she has is tax-deductible. Others might consider all of the money they spend throughout the year to be charitable donations. Got a speeding ticket? “I’m sorry, your honor, but I believe that stretch of road to be my property, so law enforcement has no jurisdiction when it comes to traffic enforcement.” Pretty sweet, isn’t it?
Yes, those are all ridiculous, but no less than attempts to portray James Comey’s actions as anything other than the intentional mishandling of classified information in order to advance his personal political preferences. Then, he tops that bit of inanity by saying – with a straight face, no less – that Donald Trump isn’t morally fit to serve as President. If the book sales don’t go well, Mr. Comey can probably make himself a fine living on the comedy circuit.
Roy Jeffords is an author, ghost writer, Constitutional conservative, and curmudgeon-at-large. A graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, he lives in Texas with his wife and their two boxers. Find him on Facebook at Roy Jeffords, Twitter @royjeffords, Instagram royjeffords, and at www.royjeffords.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.