Former FBI Director James Comey is “always the hero of every story he tells,” former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Friday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
The Department of Justice turned over to Congress Thursday redacted versions of memos Comey wrote, detailing seven conversations with President Donald Trump both before and after Trump’s inauguration.
While touting his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” Comey has fielded questions from media outlets about his dealings with Trump. They have also asked whether he believes that Trump will face obstruction of justice charges for firing him in May 2017, and for the questions he asked about the FBI’s probe into Russian collusion allegations.
“[Comey’s] always the hero of every story he tells,” Mukasey, who served in former President George W. Bush’s administration alongside special counsel Robert Mueller during his tenure as FBI director, told host Laura Ingraham.
“It was a self-serving memo,” Mukasey said.
Normally when government officials write memos recording conversations, they do so “for the proverbial record later on, so that they can whip it out and say, ‘See? This is what I wrote at the time,'” Mukasey said. But in Comey’s case, “His motive was the same at the time as it is now, which is to make himself look good.”
“The trouble, from the standpoint of the people who think this would be harmful to the president, is that those memos don’t say anything as far as I know about [Comey] feeling that he was being leaned on or pressured to drop any investigation,” Mukasey said. “If in fact he thought that, it would have been in the memo.”
Comey told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Thursday on “The Rachel Maddow Show” that he wrote the memos immediately after his meetings with Trump to “sort of bolster the credibility of my recollection.”
“‘Bolster the credibility of my recollection?’ Understand, he was not saying that ‘it was there so that I didn’t forget,’ because obviously he wasn’t going to forget it. He just wanted, as he puts it, [to] enhance or strengthen the credibility of his recollection,” Mukasey said.
“What kind of person thinks of that at the time that events are going on, thinks that his recollection, the credibility of his recollection, needs strengthening?” Mukasey asked. “What you get is cherry-picked recollection.”
Mukasey also addressed Thursday’s news that the Department of Justice’s inspector general issued a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington regarding former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s lies to federal investigators.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March based upon Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s recommendation, after learning that McCabe lied four times during the internal probe into the FBI’s conduct during key investigations.
Mukasey noted Mueller has brought charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Dutch attorney Alex van der Swaan, and others connected with the Trump-Russia probe for lying to investigators.
“Look at the treatment of General Flynn, look at the treatment of … an obscure person like Alex van der Swaan. Everybody who supposedly made a false statement to the FBI is being prosecuted for it. Why shouldn’t he?” Mukasey said of McCabe. “Particularly when, according to the report, a couple of those statements were under oath?”
Trump took to Twitter Friday to highlight the discrepancy he also saw between how Flynn and Comey were treated, noting that Comey asked a friend of his to leak his memos — some of which were turned over to Congress partially redacted Thursday — to the press.
“So General Michael Flynn’s life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written). Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!” Trump tweeted.
So General Michael Flynn’s life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written). Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018