Trump Cites James Comey’s Non-Prosecution as Proof of William Barr’s Impartiality

It’s Friday, but President Donald Trump continues to talk about James Comey and how “lucky” the former FBI Director was that Attorney General William Barr is so “fair and reasonable.”

“The fact that James Comey was not prosecuted for the absolutely horrible things he did just shows how fair and reasonable Attorney General Bill Barr is. So many people and experts that I have watched and read would have taken an entirely different course. Comey got Lucky!” Trump tweeted early Friday.

Although the OIG said Thursday that Comey violated his FBI employment agreement, and Department of Justice and FBI policy through the “retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos” of his meetings with President Trump, many speaking in Comey’s defense suggested that the conclusion of the inspector general was really this: “The inspector general of the Justice Department has determined that it is misconduct for a law enforcement officer to publicly disclose an effort to shut down his investigation.” Comey did not release classified information to the public.

While plenty of experts were quick to side with the latter view of the matter (Rod Rosenstein not included among them), President Trump kept hammering away at Comey: “The disastrous IG Report on James Comey shows, in the strongest of terms, how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated. Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool. We should be given our stolen time back?”

Trump’s initial response to the IG report was that Comey was, perhaps, the most “thoroughly disgraced and excoriated” American of all time.

Comey, for his part, defended himself on Twitter and asked people reading his tweets to examine why they still trust people who “gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”

“DOJ IG ‘found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.’ I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he said. “And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”

[Image via Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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