He just made the biggest call of the 2016 election, but FBI Director James Comey has Irish wit and steel to help him through the inevitable attacks.
Comey (55) has cleared Hillary Clinton of criminally misusing her email servers and, in the process, given her a new lifeline for her candidacy.
Though Comey stated Clinton was very careless it is hardly enough to stop her candidacy, which would certainly have been the case if he chose to indict her.
That sigh you hear from the Clinton camp is a massive expression of relief now that they can put it all behind them.
While they know many top State Department officials were also refusing to use the clunky State Department system, Clinton chose to damage herself by deciding to do it as well, despite knowing the level of scrutiny she has borne.
And if you think Bill’s stroll over to Loretta Lynch’s plane last week was mere accident of location, think again. The Clintons wanted this story out – good, bad or indifferent – and they have now succeeded in achieving that.
In the process Comey may well have copper-fastened another term as FBI head if Hillary wins, but Trump will fire him given the Donald’s comments about the fix being in. In the case of Comey, a straight shooter if ever there was one, that was simply not the case.
The Yonkers-born son of Irish immigrants, Comey, who stands six foot seven, has spoken powerfully of his own ethnic past and how it relates to his current position as head of the FBI. He cited the bigotry directed at his Irish forebears as an example of how racism works and how it should be handled today.
The name Comey has two meanings in the native Irish tongue. Coimdeadh, in Irish, means “Lord” or “Protector.” An alternative surname that Comey is derived from is O Camtha, which means “crooked” or “bent.”
Comey was at Georgetown University and delivered a rare speech by a federal law enforcement leader on the issue of race. He explained how he grew up in an Irish American family, first in Yonkers, NY and later in New Jersey.
He stated, “I am descended from Irish immigrants. A century ago, the Irish knew well how American society – and law enforcement – viewed them: as drunks, ruffians, and criminals. Law enforcement’s biased view of the Irish lives on in the nickname we still use for the vehicle that transports groups of prisoners; it is, after all, the “Paddy Wagon.”
“The Irish had tough times, but little compares to the experience on our soil of black Americans. That experience should be part of every American’s consciousness, and law enforcement’s role in that experience – including in recent times – must be remembered. It is our cultural inheritance.
“There is a reason I require all new agents and analysts to study the FBI’s interaction with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to visit his memorial in Washington as part of their training. And there is a reason I keep on my desk a copy of Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s approval of J. Edgar Hoover’s request to wiretap Dr. King. It is a single page. The entire application is five sentences long, it is without fact or substance, and is predicated on the naked assertion that there is “communist influence in the racial situation.” The reason I do those things is to ensure that we remember our mistakes and that we learn from them.
“One reason we cannot forget our law enforcement legacy is that the people we serve and protect cannot forget it, either. So we must talk about our history. It is a hard truth that lives on.”