Former FBI Director James Comey criticized President Donald Trump and House Republicans for their attacks on the bureau and false claims made against it.
He rebuked the President for saying in a tweet that the FBI broke into the office of his former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, an untruthful statement. Comey’s criticism of Trump’s congressional allies was aimed at their silence over the President’s false claim, which he called a disregard for the rule of law.
“So, another day of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Steele dossier. This while the President of the United States is lying about the FBI, attacking the FBI and attacking the rule of law in this country. How does that make any sense?” he told reporters after his six-hour interview behind closed doors.
Comey said Republican lawmakers who didn’t speak out against President Trump’s blatant lie were cowards, afraid to stand up for the bureau for fear of political backlash.
“Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today,” he commented. “At some point, someone has to stand up and in the fear of Fox News and fear of their base, and fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement.”
Comey also said the President calling his former lawyer “a rat” undermined the rule of law. “This is the president of the United States calling a witness who is cooperating with his own Justice Department a ‘rat,’” he stressed. He further accused Trump of having damaged the FBI’s reputation with his constant lies about it.
Comey’s comment came after his last interview with House Republicans before Democrats take over the chamber in January. Democrats called the interview a waste of time and money, saying the former FBI director’s testimony has been heard time and time again and the interview was nothing more than an attempt to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“I think we could be doing things to help the American people in their day to day lives but we spent this time again listening to testimony that has been heard before,” said Representative Elijah Cummings.