Comey Cleared? 🕵 🤔

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Chastised, but not prosecuted 

On Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that they have decided against prosecuting former FBI Director James Comey for leaking information to the press via a memo. The Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz said that while Comey did not reveal classified information, he did set a dangerous example by sharing sensitive information.

So what happened with the memo?

Comey wrote seven memos between January and April of 2017, detailing conversations between himself and newly instated President Trump, including one in which Trump allegedly asked Comey to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey gave a copy of this memo to his personal lawyer, Dan Richman, and told him to share it with the New York Times, hoping this would prompt an investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel shortly thereafter. 


LEANING RIGHT:

Breitbart: Trump: ‘Disgraced’ James Comey ‘should be ashamed of himself!’

Fox News (Opinion): Jason Chaffetz: James Comey, the IG report and the lasting damage of the Obama-Biden agenda

The right also characterizes the IG’s report as hyper-critical of Comey, and characterizes Comey himself as negligent, intent on disrupting systems of law and order. These outlets are largely critical of Comey, pulling heavily from the report itself, as well as Republican reactions to it. Several make comparisons between Comey and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, both of whom these articles frame as obfuscating government records.

LEANING LEFT:

Washington Post: James Comey helped save democracy when he wrote his memos 

CNN (Opinion): A reprimand for Comey that doesn’t vindicate Trump 

The left characterizes the IG’s report as scathing, but also stresses the fact that the investigation found no evidence that Comey leaked classified information. Though few defend Comey outright, many take a sympathetic approach to his situation by detailing the unprecedented nature of the time in which he created the memos, suggesting he acted out of a desire to preserve the rule of law. These outlets treat the information gathered from Comey’s memos as evidence of Trump’s malfeasance. 


Where's the common ground?

Nearly everyone refers to the report as scathing, and outlets on both sides agree that the substance of this story lies in Comey’s handling of his memos. Articles on both sides diverge on whether they believe he acted responsibly in disclosing sensitive information to the public. 

Reading about the Mueller investigation again

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