Ever since Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his damning report on disgraced former FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, Comey’s faced widespread criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
There has, however, been one man who’s come out in his defense: Equally disgraced former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Speaking Friday on CNN, where he works alongside fellow liar Andrew McCabe, Clapper trotted out the old “yeah it was sort of bad BUT” line in defense of Comey.
“I think he did what he thought was the right thing,” he initially said of the former FBI director’s many violations. “I don’t take issue with what the Department of Justice inspector general said. Yeah, it violated the standard protocols and procedures of the FBI.”
“I don’t think there’s a rulebook, though, for this extraordinary situation involving potential — I emphasize potential — criminality of a president. So Jim did what he thought was the right thing to do for the country. Now, one man’s leaker is another man’s whistleblower.”
There it was. Though = but = excuses, excuses, excuses.
And the excuse here was that Comey “did what he thought was the right thing.” This suggests that Clapper believes America’s intelligence officials may do whatever the heck they want, so long as they believe they’re in the right. In other words, the ends justify the means:
The ends justify the means?
— LordKrispyKreme (@LordKreme) August 31, 2019
LOL, so the ends justify the means. Seriously though, potential criminality and you are OK with Comey doing things the wrong way. How many defense attorneys would get everything Comey did thrown out completely? All of them!
— Kevin (@libsareondrugs) August 30, 2019
Translation: “We make our own rules, and the ends justify the means.” That arrogant hack should be in jail.
— Mark Thompson (@MarkThompson621) August 30, 2019
According to Clapper, the FBI can do whatever it wants, throw protocols out the window, if they think it’s necessary. Terrible, terrible idea.
— Whitey McWhiteface (@Common_sense103) August 30, 2019
Yes, every FBI agent should be free to violate civil rights and ignore procedure if they feel very strongly about any given case.
— Tall Man Short Hair (@TallManShort) August 30, 2019
There is a rulebook. That’s why the IG Said he violated it. I’m shocked that so many government officials, journalists And news media organizations violate long-standing policies procedures and ethics to oppose Trump. They do more damage than he does.
— CougarDon (@Intrepid2119) August 30, 2019
IOW Clapper believes its OK for law enforcement to break protocols/procedures to put people away if it’s an “extraordinary situation”.
No, Clapper, that’s when you MOST need to follow them.
— John Taznar (@Taznari) August 30, 2019
Instead of challenging her colleague’s assertion, host Brianna Keilar seemed to agree, echoing Clapper’s remarks, “Another man’s whistleblower.”
“Exactly,” Clapper replied. “And in this case, I think he was whistleblowing to the public. We would not have known what we’ve since learned, I think, were it not for the action that Jim took”
“His book, ‘Higher Loyalty,’ this is the whole point he’s trying to make — that his loyalty was to the country,” Keilar concurred.
But it’s also a point that was refuted by the IG’s report, which explicitly said that Comey “violated Department or FBI policy” by sharing his memos with the media, set a “dangerous example” for his colleagues, and sought to “achieve a personally desired outcome.”
What does it mean when a government official places his own personal desires over the concerns of his job and country? As noted in an op-ed earlier this week by former FBI special agent James A. Gagliano, it means that person’s “highest loyalty” is only to “himself.”
Continuing the discussion on CNN, Keilar did finally take a shot at Comey for having made an issue out of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “reckless” email habits.
“I also wonder, as someone who has at least tried to do the right thing as he sees it being the right thing, he also, you know, didn’t take his own advice in some ways. … [H]e came out, even though he wasn’t going to prosecute her, and said that she was reckless for the way she handled her e-mail at the State Department and for housing the server in her house. And then he’s keeping memos in his house, which he was not supposed to be doing,” she said.
“Well, that’s true,” Clapper replied. “I think there’s a bit of a difference here, nuance, in that some of the material was classified involved in the Hillary Clinton e-mail.”
The former DNI then switched the discussion back to the present.
“And I think the Justice Department decision not to prosecute was the right one. Jim had no intent — in fact, I’m sure he thought about it with those memos, particularly the ones that were exposed to- ultimately to the public,” he said.
That was the same excuse that Comey himself trotted out in 2016, when he explained to the public why he’d chosen to not pursue charges against Clinton, despite her litany of crimes.
If this is a legitimate defense, then it’s unclear why anyone is ever convicted of second degree murder for killing someone by accident while driving drunk …
But it’s not even an established fact that there was no intent by Comey.
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) makes clear in the report that was released Thursday that Comey was careless, negligent, and intent on violating the letter and spirit of his duties and obligations,” former Congressman Jason Chaffetz noted in an op-ed this week.
Jason Chaffetz: James Comey, the IG report and the lasting damage of the Obama-Biden agendahttps://t.co/DP8Z0Zsgn9
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) August 29, 2019
So why would Clapper claim otherwise? Either he misspoke … or was he lying again.