WASHINGTON: Former FBI Director James Comey defended the agency Thursday on Twitter, writing, "All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. "
President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have been attacking the FBI for its investigation of potential ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign. Trump is expected to clear the way soon for the publication of a classified memo that Republicans say shows improper use of surveillance by the FBI in the initial stages of the investigation.
The Justice Department and Democrats have lobbied Trump to stop the release, saying it could harm national security and mislead the public.
On Twitter, Comey urged his former colleagues to "take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up."
He concluded, "Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy" — a reference to the senator who, in the 1950s, conducted hearings aimed at rooting out Communists in the U.S. government.
All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.— James Comey (@Comey) February 1, 2018
Since his firing last May, Comey has made his personal feelings about Trump known, testifying in detail about personal interactions he says troubled him.
Good to read reports of people standing up for what they believe in. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” — MLK— James Comey (@Comey) January 23, 2018
He also authorized a close friend to share with reporters details from a memo he produced documenting one such encounter — a February conversation in the Oval Office in which he said Trump encouraged him to drop an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. That revelation promoted the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to run the Russia investigation.
Russia threat should unite us, not divide us: “It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. They’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally... And they will be back, because we remain...that shining city on the hill, and they don’t like it. “ Me (Senate Intel 6/8/17)— James Comey (@Comey) January 25, 2018
Comey has also used language about "weasels" before, most notably in a September 2016 congressional hearing when he defended the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
"You can call us wrong, but don't call us weasels," Comey said. "We're not weasels."
Where are the voices of all the leaders who know an independent Department of Justice and FBI are essential to our liberty? “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.” — Martin Luther— James Comey (@Comey) January 3, 2018