What was Comey's "crime"?
Forget the contradictory statements about the Russians, forget even, if you can, about the weird "investigation" into Hillary's home-brewed server, forget about WikiLeaks, also forget about Comey's lackadaisical attitude towards the leaking of classified information. All those are reasons to dump Comey, no doubt, but, I think Comey's greatest sin was that we all know who he is.
Most people would be hard-pressed to name an FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover. That's how it should be. The FBI Director is meant to be a relatively obscure personage operating in that weird twilight zone intersection of fighting national and international crime and countering foreign espionage. The FBI Director should not, IMHO, be a media personality much less an obvious political actor, or at least, that's the way it was. The Director, I think, is not meant to be casting long shadows over our national elections with lengthy and, frankly, bizarre press conferences about ongoing investigations. It all went to his head, and he ignored his real duties. I have written before (here) that he simply made a mess of the FBI and its reputation,
The investigation of the Clinton Crime Family and, in particular, that of SecState Clinton's use of a private email server for classified information, and her use of the State Department as her and Bill's ATM leaves much to be desired. I, for example, cannot understand how an apparently morally upright and professionally competent Director, such as James Comey, did not go public with a resignation slammed down on the President's desk when Attorney General Lynch met "secretly" with Bill Clinton on that Arizona tarmac days before the FBI was to wrap-up its initial investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal. I do not understand how Comey could have made the public statement that he made on July 5 when he gave Hillary Clinton a pass on her scandalous, unethical, dangerous, and illegal use of a private server for official work. I do not for a second believe, despite what Comey said at the time, that nobody, including presumably Lynch, Obama, and the Clintons, knew Comey would recommend no indictment. I knew it the minute Lynch announced beforehand that she would accept whatever recommendation the FBI made. Right. Sure thing. Did Donna Brazile send you an email?
The FBI leadership made a hash of the investigation into Clinton. It was such a hash, that, reportedly, Comey's desk received a large number of outraged letters of resignation from agents justifiably angry over what Comey had done. He needed an excuse to try to save his reputation, when along comes Huma Abedin's husband El Perverso Anthony Carlos Danger Weiner. Apparently, an investigation into his "sexting" with a minor girl revealed tens-of-thousands of emails on his computer which MIGHT have relevance to the original investigation into Hillary's emails. So, reboot: A public reboot via a vague letter to the Congress that requires a lot of reading between the lines.As noted in that same October 2016 piece, the Democrats had a point when they started calling for Comey's head. We have even heard from Hillary Clinton that she now blames Comey for her loss of the election--wait, wait, I thought it was mysoginists, or white supremacists, or voter suppression, or Russia, or . . . . But now, well, yes, the same Dems then livid about Comey being in office, are now livid that he's out of office. Go figure . . .
President Trump did the right thing by booting Comey. Timing? There was never going to be a "good" time to take a major decision such as this one. If he had fired Comey the day after the inauguration would Dem outrage have been less? If he had fired him a year from now? Two years from now? If he had kept him in office? The OUTRAGE generator would have cranked out the same voltage--or to conjure a different image, the alligators get testy when you try to drain the swamp . . .
I repeat, the President did the right thing. He now needs to pick a Director who will restore the FBI's reputation and effectiveness. Ironically, he might just have to pick a media star in order to counter the damage wrought by the last one.