It seems that the very sanctimonious former FBI Director, James Comey, is out on a tour, promoting his book "A Higher Loyalty." Comey has the idea that he was treated shabbily by the President when he was fired in May 2017, and that he occupies the moral high ground with respect to the President.
You would think that, of anyone, the Director of the FBI would know what constitutes a federal crime. Don't be so sure. Consider just one example where Comey has committed a clear and obvious crime and yet doesn't seem to have a clue.
Here's the background. After each meeting he had with the President during the first few months of 2017, Comey generated a CYA memo. After a long wait, those memos have finally been released. CNN has helpfully posted the texts of the memos here. We also know that Comey then passed several of these memos to a friend specifically intending that the friend would pass the memos on to the press. That's what is known as a "leak." Here is Comey on video admitting at a Congressional hearing that he passed the memos on to a friend for purposes of getting them to the press. Comey seems to think that that was OK because the memos were not classified. To judge by the redactions to the memos as now released (and as shown at the CNN link above) that may not have been true; but leave that for the moment.
But here's the thing. Right there in one of the memos (first page of the memo of January 28, 2017) Comey records himself as saying the following to the President: "I said I don't do sneaky things, I don't leak, I don't do weasel moves." (Emphasis added.) And then he went right ahead and leaked, not just any old thing, but the memo that recorded the contents of that very conversation (along with other such memos recording other such conversations). The statement he made to the President, and recorded in the January 28, 2017 memo, was clearly and blatantly false.
Any problem with that? Well, there's 18 U.S.C Section 1001. That's the all-purpose section under which Mueller seems to be indicting everybody, from Flynn to Papadapolous to van der Zwaan. But, you ask, isn't that section about "lying to the FBI"? You've probably read that twenty times; and it's what they want you to think. But go and read the statute. It never mentions the FBI specifically. It's about lying to anybody in the government, whether it be the executive, legislative or even the judicial branch. Here's the relevant text:
[W]hoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully— . . . (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, [is subject to fine and/or imprisonment].
A lie to the President is every bit as much a crime under this statute as is a lie to the FBI. Sorry, Jim. Your own memo, intended by you to cover your ass, instead serves as the definitive proof of your criminality.
And of course, Comey's failure to have understood 18 U.S.C. 1001 is only the beginning of his total ignorance of our constitutional and criminal law system. I mean, this is the guy who went before Congress in June 2017 and (according to the New York Times) "Bluntly Raise[d the] Possibility of Trump Obstruct[ing Justice]" in connection with the prosecution of Flynn. So Comey, who had just held the position of Director of the FBI, somehow didn't know that it was the President, and not the Director of the FBI, who holds the constitutional power to decide who does and does not get investigated and prosecuted (otherwise known as "prosecutorial discretion"), and thought that an effort of the President to exercise that constitutional authority when the FBI disagreed could constitute the crime of "obstruction."
And here's something even more fundamental. This is also the same guy who calls his book "A Higher Loyalty." The reference is to what Comey claims was President Trump's demand that he declare "loyalty" to the President. Comey thinks he had a "higher" loyalty. To what? To his own idea of how the country should be run, and of how the criminal law should be enforced? Sorry, Jim, but those questions are decided by elections. To declare that you as a high-ranking federal officer have a "higher loyalty" than the loyalty to the duly elected President is to declare that you don't honor the Constitution of the United States, that you don't respect the results of our elections, and that you defy your oath of office.
How did this guy ever get a job as high as FBI Director? Really, it's hard to see how he qualifies for even a basic license to practice law if can't grasp even these fundamentals of our system.