Reaction: 'I Wouldn't Say James Comey Is Out of the Woods'; 'This Is Just the Beginning'

Susan Jones | August 30, 2019 | 6:38am EDT
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Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017. (Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

( - Reaction came swiftly on Thursday, after the Justice Department inspector general released a report saying that former FBI Director James Comey failed to live up to his responsibility to protect sensitive information.

And by using sensitive information to force the appointment of a special prosecutor, the OIG found that 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 non-public information."

"I wouldn’t say James Comey is out of the woods," Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said.

"We're in the pregame show. This is just the beginning," Jay Sekulow, President Trump's attorney said.

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said the IG report shows that Comey, by leaking information to achieve a personally desired end (the appointment of a special counsel) "calls into question literally all of the actions and all of the decisions made by Jim Comey throughout his tenure."

Comey, in response to the report, bragged via Twitter that he did not release classified information to the media. And he said it would nice to get a "sorry we lied about you" from "those who defamed me."

"I think that we have rarely seen somebody so delusional and self-serving as James Comey in public life in America," Biggs, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Thursday.

Comey will not be criminally charged for his wrongdoing, but it's not over yet Biggs said: "Well, he might get a pass in some respects on this, but his reputation is shot to pieces.

"But there's another report that's going to come out from the inspector general in a few weeks. And I wouldn’t say James Comey is out of the woods. I don't think this is the last we have heard of James Comey, regrettably."

The upcoming IG report deals with alleged FISA abuse. Comey was among the FBI/DOJ officials who signed FISA warrants for the FBI to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. But as it turns out, those warrants were based on unverified information from the so-called Steele dossier.

Biggs noted that this is the second time the IG has called out Comey for misconduct. Yet Comey is demanding an apology. "I rarely see somebody like that," Biggs said. “And I think he -- the inspector general is correct. He (Comey) set a horrible example for the 35,000 folks in the FBI, but, moreover, he's kind of damaged the reputation of the leadership of the FBI."

‘Pregame show’

Jay Sekulow, President Trump's attorney, said the report validates Trump's decision to fire Comey. And he agreed that more trouble is coming for the disgraced former FBI director.

"We're in the pregame show. This is just the beginning," Sekulow said.

So here's what everyone has to put in perspective. This was the head of the FBI. Should President Trump...have fired James Comey? Here's 70 pages of the reason why. By the way, this is not the first time James Comey has violated rules, regulations of the Department of Justice, we've already had reports on that. So that's number one.

Should the president have fired him? For a hundred reasons, 70 pages of which are laid out here.

Number two. This is just the beginning. There's another series of investigations going on, you mentioned the FISA abuse, the issues there, how this whole thing started -- remember, James Comey's leak is what appointed Bob Mueller. And we just saw in the last month, the charade of that hearing that was going to be the crescendo of the entire Russia collusion nonsense.

And you saw it play out in living color in everybody's room, the people that watched it on their television sets. And what did you see? They had nothing because there was nothing there. Now we have the report that the guy in charge of the FBI was violating its own policies, rules and regulations.That is not something James Comey should be celebrating. Instead, he should be embarrassed.

Sekulow also wondered how Comey considers the IG report a victory. "What's his victory, he barely beats out an indictment? That's his definition of victory?"

Comey influenced by personal animus

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said the IG report taints Comey's entire tenure as FBI director:

"The inspector-general, the Obama-appointed inspector general watchdog, said that Jim Comey did the one thing any FBI agent -- much less an FBI director -- should ever do, which is allow their personal opinions, their personal animus, their personal desires to influence official conduct. And Jim Comey promised us that he never did that."

Ratcliffe noted that page 60 of the IG report found that Comey "'engaged in the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.' And that outcome was to get, in this case, a special counsel to stop Donald Trump. So it calls into question literally all of the actions and all of the decisions made by Jim Comey throughout his tenure."


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