The Comey Rule is a brazen attempt to rewrite recent history according to the conceits of the left. The series premiered on Showtime and is now available on Netflix. Taking Comey’s 2018 memoir A Higher Loyalty at face value, it turns him into a hero.
Whereas the Steele Dossier and subsequent Russian investigation should be looked at retrospectively as an example of mass-delusion and government abuse, according to The Comey Rule, it was instead an example of patriotism. The most corrupt members of the FBI during that period are portrayed as veritable boy-scouts.
Jeff Daniels, who plays Comey, affects an awe-shucks humble leader persona which is entirely misplaced. Daniels wears this pained expression on his face, hurt by the immorality around him. I wanted to laugh or shake my head in contempt. Comey’s portrayed as ethical, whereas Trump’s portrayed as amoral. The facts don’t bear this out. Now that this series is on Netflix, I suspect it will get more eyeballs. All the more reason to give it much-needed scrutiny.
The Clinton Case: Midyear Exam
The Comey Rule shows the media as highly critical of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign (they weren’t), and the FBI team as hard-boiled cops who had no axe to grind (they did). FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page are both working on the case investigating the “matter” of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails and personal email server. Of course, it was AG Lorretta Lynch who insisted to Comey that he use the word “matter” instead of “investigation.” Comey’s portrayed as disturbed by Lynch’s directive– which is to his credit if true.
The FBI team is presented as investigating this case in an objective manner, disinterested in political outcomes. They just want to call balls and strikes, regardless that Clinton happens to be the Democrat nominee for president. Given the revelations of the text messages of two FBI members on this team, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, this is not an accurate depiction. Deputy director Andrew McCabe is also on this team. He likewise is presented as the image of rectitude at the FBI, with his egregious conduct white-washed.
The discovery of Anthony Weiner’s laptop, which had copies of Clinton’s emails, complicates the FBI team’s mission. Clinton failed to produce these emails to Congress under subpoena, so the investigation, named Midyear, has to be extended. In The Comey Rule, Strzok himself concludes that the discovery of Weiner’s laptop means the investigation needs to be reopened. The investigation was supposed to have been concluded in July, with Comey’s infamous press conference exonerating Clinton, though offering her criticism at the same time. With the discovery of the Weiner laptop, the notion that the investigation has closed is “materially untrue.”
Comey wanted to announce the reopening of the Clinton investigation before the election so as not to give the perception that the FBI was “concealing something from the American public.” This is probably why Trump thought he could work with Comey. It wasn’t that Trump thought Comey would necessarily be partisan in his favor, but that at least Comey wouldn’t be partisan against him. Further arguing for this view is that Comey is a Republican. Yet that should be qualified by the fact that he was appointed by Obama, and he was a Trump hater, as we shall see.
With regards to the Clinton investigation, Comey has an internal struggle: Should he do the right thing, even if people don’t like the outcome? Even if it makes him unpopular? Even if his annoying wife continues to badger him? Ultimately, he does.
Yet his team was eager to exonerate Clinton. When the Midyear team looked at the additional emails revealed by the Weiner laptop, they concluded that they were not incriminating. But who was on the Midyear team? Even in The Comey Rule, they are portrayed as a group of people who are dismayed by the prospect of Trump becoming president.
Giuliani is the antagonist of the series– at least until Trump is introduced. The New York Office (NYO) is believed to be constantly leaking to Giuliani info unfavorable to Clinton, and then Giuliani in turn leaks to the press. Comey’s decision to announce the reopening of the Clinton investigation is in part justified as getting out ahead of Giuliani.
“We’ll Stop Him”
When Strzok says “We will stop him” (stop Trump from being president) in The Comey Rule, he hastens to add that he means this on behalf of the public, something not stated in his real-life text message to Lisa Page.
As they prepare to make love in a hotel room, Page asks him:
“'We' as in the Bureau?”
Strzok chides her for the implication:
“No, 'we' as in the public.”
This is one of the more shameless examples of rewriting history in Comey Rule. In the text, his meaning is clear enough: Strzok means him and Lisa Page will stop Trump; or perhaps more broadly, the FBI will stop Trump. The real Strzok did not provide a clarification to say that he meant “the public” in general. He literally meant “we,” as in “you and me.” Even the Mueller team removed Strzok from the Russia investigation once these texts were uncovered by the IG report.
Strzok infamously texted to Page: “God Hillary should win 100,000,000 to 0.” Obviously he brought his personal feelings about the election to his job. As the Lawfare Blog comments:
“That’s very troubling, as is the fact that both participants moved to Robert Mueller’s staff to investigate the president. As Justice Scalia noted in his dissent in Morrison v. Olsen, there’s great risk that the people most eager to join a special prosecutor’s staff are those who are burning to take down the person under investigation. These texts certainly raise that concern.”
Yet in The Comey Rule, the notion that there is anything troubling about Strzok and Page investigating the president is not even alluded to. Instead, it’s Strzok and Page who are indignant about Trump’s supposed wrongdoing.
Former congressman Trey Gowdy commented at the time:
“Peter Strzok’s manifest bias trending toward animus casts a pall on this investigation . . . His bias impacted his decision-making and he assigned to himself the role of stopping the Trump campaign or ending a Trump presidency…This is not the FBI I know.”
That Strzok was removed from the Russia investigation is wonderful, but that doesn’t change the fact that him and Page had a role in the Clinton investigation as well. Their determination to “stop” Trump could explain their convenient exoneration of Clinton.
After Trump is elected, cue the sad music and sad faces. The Midyear team is openly commiserating at the office before their next meeting, which is funny considering they repeatedly claimed their office is nonpolitical. Comey joins them in the board room, stating ironically:
“I’m the guy that got Trump elected.”
In The Comey Rule, it’s taken as a given that they all agree they don’t want Trump in the White House, which tends to confirm every suspicion against Comey’s FBI.
Obama readies his cabinet for the transition, meeting with CIA head James Clapper, Comey, and other department heads. In front of the windows of the oval office, Obama is illuminated in light as though the directors want us to view him as a God or maybe an angel. The meeting’s primary concern is a wildly exaggerated idea of the “threat” from Russia. Maybe Obama and his department heads were so credulous that they believed Trump really was “installed” by Russia. Maybe they fell for the propaganda spread by their own intel agencies. John Brennan, CIA Director, shows the level of his biased thinking:
“I’m troubled by President Trump’s unwillingness to criticize Putin, even in private. That indicates to me some sort of relationship.”
This is pretty thin gruel to suggest a conspiracy to steal the election, but such was the conceit of our executive branch. If one doesn’t share their hatred of Russia, one is suspected of high treason! It becomes clear that the Obama administration and the intel agencies viewed themselves almost as at war with Russia. That the incoming administration wanted to take a different approach was something they couldn’t wrap their stupid heads around. Michael Flynn as national security advisor was something they couldn’t countenance, as the intel agencies had convinced themselves that he was a Russian asset. The Obama admin and the intel heads continue referring to a Russian “attack,” showing that they can’t accept the fact that Trump was elected.
What is most off-putting is the air of arrogance around the intel heads, Comey and Clapper in particular. Jonathan Banks plays Clapper with a presumption as though he’s the adult in the room, and anyone who disagrees with his political views is misguided at best or a traitor at worst. Banks has a similar persona in his role in Breaking Bad, the experienced hand who is weary and wary of everyone else’s stupidity. But it’s hardly justified when he’s playing Clapper. In this case, it is Clapper who is wasting everyone’s time with a delusional Russia Investigation which grossly exaggerated the effect of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election for the purpose of delegitimizing Trump’s victory.
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