On Thursday's episode of "The Andrew Klavan Show," Klavan breaks down the recently released Department of Justice Inspector General's report that shows former FBI Director James Comey violated Department policies and procedures. Video and partial transcript below:
The Justice Department's inspector general found that former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey violated the agency's policies when he shared memos about his interactions with President Trump with others, according to the report that was released [Thursday]. So you remember this, right? This is James Comey — Mr. Higher Loyalty, Mr. I'm Better Than Everybody Else. This sanctimonious — this is the guy who said to the — I guess, the House Judiciary Committee — just remember, we're not weasels.
This weasel got fired by Donald Trump. Donald Trump has the power to fire the FBI director, right. This is an executive branch decision. He can do it if he doesn't like James Comey’s tie, he can fire [him]. Zero scandal and obstruction of justice. It's just, I don't like your tie, get out pal. That's what he did. He fired him in a very embarrassing way. You know, Donald Trump, he’s not Mr. Tact. He's not Mr. Tact. I can't remember what it was, it was like Comey was actually in public somewhere when the news came out that he had been fired without anybody telling him.
Comey was ticked off and he wanted to start — he wanted a special counsel appointed to investigate Donald Trump. That was his vengeance. And so he took these memos that he had kept of conversations with Donald Trump that he thought showed Trump trying to obstruct justice by getting in the way of the investigation, by saying things like, "Could you leave Michael Flynn alone? He's a good guy." Stuff that, you know, Trump, who had just come into office at that point, probably didn't even realize ... might be seen as obstruction of justice.
Obviously, Trump has got a big mouth. He says all this stuff. So Comey, taking notes — didn't do this with Obama. But he was taking notes with Donald Trump, then called his pal. What was his name? This is a guy, I guess, was later said he was his lawyer and released this and told him to release these memos to the press in the hopes of getting a special counsel appointed, which he did. That was the Mueller report. That was how the Mueller report got started.
So this comes out and James Comey — let's call him James "The Weasel" Comey. James "The Weasel" Comey tweets out:
COMEY: DOJ IG
This is the Inspector General [Michael] Horowitz of the Department of Justice, quote:
COMEY: "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media."
And he then goes on to say:
COMEY: I don't need a public apology from those who defamed me. But a quick message with a "sorry we lied about you" would be nice.
Here's my quick message. You are a weasel because — what he did. The reason he calls this guy his lawyer is because he didn't want him testifying against him, right. So he released this stuff to this Columbia lawyer — let me just get his name so I know what I'm talking about here. Richman, his name was, that's right. He released these things to Daniel Richman, and basically said to him, release it. [He] gave him instructions to share the intel with a New York Times reporter. This is the probe, and this is what James "The Weasel" Comey is tweeting out, that they found no evidence — that he released any of this information. That's not what they found.
So he said, I just want a quick message with a "sorry, we lied about you." My quick message? You are a weasel. All right.
Some of these memos contained a little bit of classified information. And when he sent them, he scanned them with a personal scanner, mailed them with his personal emails — ... violating the exact same statute that Hillary Clinton was accused of violating when she sent out all that stuff that was going back and forth between her and her pal, right. So basically, [it’s] the same thing that he got. Now, the DOJ has already said that they are not going to prosecute him for this. And a lot of people on the Right are really upset about this. I actually am in favor of this. This doesn't sound like it reaches the level of criminality. Maybe, maybe, it's true that if you did it you'd be arrested, and certainly it's true if you did it and Obama was in office and he didn't like you, you would be arrested. We know that from Dinesh D'Souza, who violated some tiny campaign contribution law and they threatened him with 15 years in prison. So we know under Obama, you'd be prosecuted for this.
But you know, if we respond in kind and that's what the government becomes, and we're living in a banana republic — Obama devolved us toward banana republicanism by using the IRS on his political enemies and by prosecuting guys like D'Souza for nothing. But, we don't want to do that. I do not want to actually see James Comey be sent to jail for sending out a letter. It just shows what a small, wormy little guy he is a little bit more. I'm going to read this off. I only got a chance to quickly go through the report. This was breaking as I was coming in. But I'm going to go to Mollie Hemingway, who has been doing great work covering this.
Sending out these memos violated Department and FBI policies and this is extremely important, right, because the FBI policies are there to keep the FBI in line, from breaking the law. They've got incredible power, they can investigate you if you lie to them — that's a crime, right. If you lie to me, that's not a crime. The FBI has tremendous power and so they have to behave in certain ways that keep them within the law. The IG said that when Comey labeled these documents personal or private, that didn't alter the fact that they were official documents — that they were used in the transaction of public business. And so they were covered by this policy. He did, he violated FBI policies and the requirements of his FBI employment agreement when he sent a copy of [the] memo ... with instructions to provide the contents to a reporter.
Here's what the [IG] report says: "The civil liberties of every individual who may fall within the scope of the FBI’s investigative authorities depend on the FBI’s ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure."
Now, think about this for a minute, right. This is a former FBI director. Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. Now think about this for a minute. You're an innocent guy, you're under investigation. The FBI doesn't know whether you're innocent or not. But it starts gathering information about you. This is happening to you, OK, this is you. You're going about your business but something comes up that the FBI thinks you're guilty of. So they start finding information, oh maybe they find out you're cheating on your wife. Maybe they find out you're doing something else. But you're innocent of the crime they're investigating. If they want to get you and start releasing this information to the press, right, they have become a lawless operation.
In order to wield the kind of power they have, their investigation has to remain secret until it becomes clear that they can indict you — that you are going to be indicted for a crime. Comey, to get back at Donald Trump — to get back at him — broke that rule and released this stuff. It's really ugly and the IG [report] says it: Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees. Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees, and the many thousands more former FBI employees who similarly have access to, or knowledge of, nonpublic information. Every one of these 35,000 people has an opinion. Every single one of them. every single one of these current FBI employees, and all the thousands of former FBI employees, has an opinion about who's a good guy and who's a bad guy. They can't just start releasing information.
The IG [report] goes on to say: "In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies."
In other words, they're really giving it to this — this is a beatdown, ok. This is slapping this guy around. I notice The Wall Street Journal is kind of playing this down in their release. This is a beatdown. This is taking this guy out to the woodshed and smacking him around. Comey’s own staff, when they were interviewed by the IG, they used words like "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning what James Comey, Barack Obama's FBI director, had done.