I’m trying to figure out if I am more shocked, awed and angered at James Comey’s unceremonious dismissal or, frankly, deeply ambivalent. On October 28, 2016 — the day Comey sent a little letter to Congress informing them of the possible existence on Anthony Weiner’s sexting machine of possibly pertinent emails to the previously closed Clinton e-mail investigation — I went mad. It felt like sabatoge. It wreaked of it, actually. I wanted him gone — disappeared — if you want to get all Russian about it.
(Not that it was in any way definitive of partisan politics— I’m really not of the partisan witch-hunt guild, believing morality is generally not defined by political party — but the guy was an admitted formerly registered Republican.)
Then, on Sunday night, November 6th, TWO freaking days before the election, I remember standing in my friend’s Ohio living room watching Comey’s unemotive, unapologetic not-quite “mea culpa” about how his relaunched investigation days before the pivotal 2016 election proved fruitless. “Too little, too late,” I shouted at Anderson Cooper’s unaging face. After a day of canvassing for Hillary and dodging stray dogs amongst the basically disenfranchised (read: extremely poor and non-white population) of Cincinnati, Ohio, I was literally about to blow or eat my head off. Hurray, dude: You announced a prisoner innocent AFTER you executed him. Bold move, man.
But come March 5, when Comey asked what-was-formerly-known-as the Department of Justice to refute Trump’s tweet alleging that his midtown Mordor (Trump Tower) was wiretapped during the election, I thought to myself: Okay, okay, Comey might be growing a pair, albeit a small one.
Then V-day came (VINDICATION DAY): March 20. I watched, with bated breath, as the guy not only confirmed that Trump’s wiretapping tweets were just plain bogus, but that the FBI is in the process of investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Again, unemotive. What is it with this guy, I wondered.
Then, on May 3rd, Comey went rogue: He appeared human — even talked like one. He said that when it came to the domino-effect of his irresponsibly-flip-floppy Clinton investigation, some of his decisions weren’t so cut-and-dried. He even incited a higher power: “Lordy, has this been difficult” the former Sunday school teacher/U.S. Deputy Attorney General/and now-former FBI director confessed. He continued on to admit that it made him “mildly nauseous” to think that “we might have had some impact on the election.”
Mild nausea in terms of this election, while gross understatement for me, was a huge confession for Comey. I imagined him, puffed up with this new-found emotion, going home and telling his wife that he kinda likes her and gently requesting that they partake in conjugal relations. Go Comey!
It confirmed the conclusion I began to form on March 20th, when Comey cleared Obama in front of Congress of the trumped-up wiretapping charges and admitted the Trump-Russia alliance could be a “thing:” that this guy is simply above board and unrelenting on everyone who falls under his scope: the very definition of earnest. Comey is the annoying kid in high school that follows ALL the rules — to the letter — and tattles on those who don’t.
In fact, despite Trump’s own schizophrenic flip-flopping on his opinion of and character of the man, Comey stayed neutral throughout. I think their mutual ire — or nausea — toward each other began when these once-suspected former bedfellows started competing for TV ratings (granted, unbeknownst to Comey who doesn’t tell CNN what Congressional hearings to cover). When the two met in person two days post-election, DJ Trump announced to a room of gloating fans, “He’s become more famous than me!” Trump couldn’t have liked that. Celebrity death knell.
So now I feel sorry for Comey and totally disgusted by the way he was dismissed, Sicilian-style, by Keith Schiller — Trump’s burly, longtime consigliere/bodyguard charged with hand-delivering the news of Comey’s firing to the Justice Department (granted, while the earnest law man Trump formerly praised for “doing the right thing” was off in California doing his job — investigating what seem to be glaring Trump campaign-Russia ties. Comey found out he was fired, yup, on TV.) And here I thought Trump loved the pomp and ceremony of firing people in his own theater — yet another Trumpadiction. (Or maybe it was Trump’s passive-aggressive way of punishing Comey for handing him an election he didn’t really want to win?)
The very scene of Schiller’s mission, while seemingly mundane in its execution, is episodic, reminiscent of a Sopranos-meets-Deadwood-meets-House-of-Cards turn-you-didn’t-quite-expect-but-totally-fits-the-plot way. But what else can we expect of a made-for-TV presidency? And, once again, I am left as God-fearing and nauseated (not “nauseous” — poor grammar, James, though not a fireable offense) as our former FBI Director.