Jack Kingston, a Republican, represented Georgia’s 1st Congressional District from 1993 to 2015 and served as an adviser to the Trump campaign.
For weeks, Democrats and many in the media cast doubt on President Trump’s assertion that former FBI director James B. Comey told him that he was not under FBI investigation.
But now we know that when Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, he will confirm what the president has been saying all along: that Comey assured him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation.
With Comey himself contradicting what Democrats had planned to focus on during the hearing, they will no doubt seek to frame his dismissal as some sort nefarious plot on the part of Trump.
But that narrative ignores the facts surrounding the president’s decision to hand Comey his walking papers.
First off, Democrats and the chorus of anti-Trump media have seemed to experience a case of collective amnesia regarding Comey’s performance as FBI director. Despite criticizing Trump for his decision to fire Comey, the very Democrats whom Comey will testify in front of sang a different tune about Comey before his dismissal.
In October, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said that Comey’s letter to Congress about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails was “appalling.”
In November, fellow Senate Intelligence Committee member Ron Wyden (Ore.) called out Comey for “continued leadership failures at the FBI.”
Democratic leadership piled on, with current Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) saying days before the election that he no longer had confidence in the FBI director and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) saying that Comey may not be “in the right job.”
And most recently, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), the Democratic Party’s 2016 vice presidential nominee, called Comey’s actions leading up to the 2016 election “one of the lowest moments in the history of the FBI.”
A recent CNN report exposed Comey for inserting himself into the midst of the 2016 election based on “intelligence” that he knew to be Russian disinformation. Not only did he fail to disclose this in classified meetings, but also he used the fake information to justify his unusual news conference slamming Clinton during the campaign. By peddling evidence that he knew to be false, Comey bypassed Justice Department protocols and undermined the very integrity he sought to protect.
Then there is the handling of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election. This is a serious matter that requires a thorough probe, as would any foreign meddling in our democracy. However, to date, there has been zero evidence presented of any “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Backing up this fact are statements from both Democrats and Republicans familiar with the investigation that no evidence of collusion has been found. This refrain has elevated into a deafening chorus as former Obama intelligence officials and prominent congressional Democrats have all denied the existence of any evidence of collusion.
The gravity of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election means that it requires both the absolute confidence of the American public and maximum efficiency in its conclusion.
Unfortunately, Comey’s continued FBI directorship could not deliver on either of these imperatives. Add to this lack of confidence the vindictive intelligence leaks out of the investigation clearly intended to embarrass Trump, and it is no wonder that the public and the president lost faith in the status quo at the FBI.
Following his firing, a New York Times article quoting an associate of Comey alleged that memos written by Comey stated that the president had asked the then-FBI director to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
But this suggestion that the president sought to interfere with the investigation was contradicted when acting FBI director Andrew McCabe testified unequivocally in May: “There has been no effort to impede our investigation.” Moreover, both Democrats and Republicans have questioned why, if Comey thought the president had acted inappropriately, as alleged, he didn’t act upon it at the time.
Now Comey will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as a disgruntled former employee of the president. His testimony should be regarded as such.
Nevertheless, I hope that the former FBI director will stick to the facts and not seek to exact spiteful retribution on his former boss or participate in the left’s deliberate campaign to undermine the Trump presidency with rumors, falsehoods and disinformation.