Former FBI director James Comey, fresh off a confusing and at times pointless interrogation in front of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, announced Sunday night that he’s taking the lead in the fight to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections.
Speaking to an audience on New York City’s tony Upper East Side, Comey “begged” Democrats to field a serious challenge to Trump and to work tirelessly to defeat the current President, according to CNN.
“All of us should use every breath we have to make sure the lies stop on January 20, 2021,” Comey told the group of Democrats.
“I understand the Democrats have important debates now over who their candidate should be,” Comey added later in an appearance on MSNBC, “but they have to win. They have to win.”
Comey isn’t technically wrong: the split within the Democratic party at the moment is over whether the party should nominate someone with an actual chance of beating Trump — at the moment, the best bet for that seems to be former Vice President Joe Biden, but even he appears to be a long-shot — or whether the party should nominate someone who represents the party’s more “modern approach,” including its unqualified embrace of identity politics.
But the move does call in to question Comey’s motives in his further testimony, and whether he can be counted on to be a fair, honest witness to congressional investigators looking to uncover what, exactly, happened in the days and weeks before Comey was fired by President Donald Trump.
Comey, CNN reports, didn’t stop at encouraging his audience to work to unseat Trump. He opined on a number of legal and political questions (though he refused to make solid predictions on things like what might happen to Special Counsel Robert Mueller when White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — widely viewed as the president’s “moderating force” — retires at the end of the year.
He even suggested that Trump could face criminal charges.
“Over the course of more than an hour, Comey repeatedly derided Trump’s character, again likening the atmosphere around the President to what he saw in prosecuting mafia figures and suggested that Trump’s tweets could eventually amount to witness tampering. Asked if Trump might be an unindicted co-conspirator in some of the crimes recently described by special counsel Robert Mueller, Comey said he didn’t know, ‘but if he’s not there, he’s certainly close,'” CNN reported.
Comey did caution Democrats not to impeach Trump, saying that an impeachment proceeding would leave Republicans feeling as if they were unseated in a “coup,” and could motivate the GOP to go to the polls to punish Democrats.
He ended his speech with some unqualified praise for former President Barack Obama, of course.
“I was struck that Barack Obama is the best listener as a leader I had ever seen and Donald Trump is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Comey said. “Obama had the confidence to be quiet and try and get that. Donald Trump is a deeply, deeply insecure person, so I don’t see any prospect that he would be able to be quiet for long enough to hear the truth.”
Republicans are continuing to pore over Comey’s testimony from late last week, over whether the FBI exhibited bias in investigating President Donald Trump, and whether the FBI improperly obtained a secret FISA warrant to wiretap Trump campaign operatives based on allegations made in a questionable Fusion GPS dossier. Comey appears to have refused most questions, preferring to answer with “I don’t know,” and “I can’t recall.”