James Comey did not want to further discredit the DOJ and the FBI, so his bizarre actions regarding the document recently revealed to be Russian propaganda are of great interest to those of us trying to figure out how he was so complicit in the disastrous 2016 election.
CNN reports that Comey knew the "intel" was fake, but acted the way he did because he was fearful of how the government agencies would look when the beans were spilled publicly.
(Comey) felt that it didn't matter if the information was accurate, because his big fear was that if the Russians released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods.
If true, this is terrifying for the simple fact that Russians, or anyone with the same nefarious goals of creating a chaotic America, can leak false propaganda and the highest law enforcement in the land will have to act upon it, lending it automatic credence, to a degree.
Josh Marshall has some theories on this convoluted episode of Spy vs. Spy.
According to sources who talked to CNN, Comey and the FBI knew the document was a fraud but used it anyway, both to make the decision and justify the decision after the fact.
This isn’t necessarily quite as crazy as it sounds. Comey’s apparent reasoning was that if the document was later released in a Russian/Wikileaks document dump, the fact that it was fake wouldn’t necessarily matter. The Bureau wouldn’t necessarily be able to publicly prove it was a phony without disclosing sources and methods, or perhaps not at all. The point being, whether or not the document was real didn’t really matter. Its release would potentially discredit the integrity of the DOJ/FBI decision making either way.
First, we’re dealing with conclusions that are inherently uncertain. You seldom definitively determine that a document is fake. It’s more a preponderance of evidence. The issue here is that it seems like almost everyone involved would have some reason to shade their recollection of events and their relative certainty about key matters to shape the best story possible. That doesn’t even get into knowing deception. It just seems like there’s a lot of gray area and we should keep that in mind.
A second point. The anti-Hillary people (both legitimate opponents and Sputniknews nutballs) always poo-poohed the idea that fraudulent documents might be woven into the legitimate, stolen documents that were laundered through Wikileaks.
The big takeaway here is that the Russian interference and subversion campaign appears to have gone much deeper and reached much higher than we’ve heretofore known. Remember the October 28th letter to Congress flowed directly from commitments Comey made because of that July press conference.
Another possibility, suggested by a perceptive colleague, is this: Might it have been the New York Office of the FBI, a.k.a.. Rudy Giuliani's goons, who threatened to be the leaker and use the letter to wreak havoc on Comey's investigation?
Anything is possible.
A N Y T H I N G
This is the era of the Cosa Nostra Presidencia. The world-leader-shoving-Trump is, after all, currently in Sicily.
That's a nice Bureau you got there, James. Shame if something were to happen to it.