COMEY

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“Speak or con­ceal — both ter­ri­ble op­tions,” he writes in the book, which is com­ing out Tues­day. “No mat­ter what we found, that act of con­ceal­ment would be cat­a­strophic to the in­tegrity of the FBI and the Depart­ment of Jus­tice. Put that way, the choice be­tween a ‘re­ally bad’ op­tion and a ‘cat­a­strophic’ op­tion was not that hard a call. We had to tell Congress that things had changed.”

Clin­ton’s most-fer­vent sup­port­ers dis­agree, to say the least.

Some, like Philippe Reines, a long­time and trusted Clin­ton con­fi­dant, are ea­ger to dig through the pages of Comey’s book, if only to dis­sect it, point by point, look­ing for in­con­sis­ten­cies or mis­state­ments.

“It would be rare for some­one’s book to say, ‘This is how I screwed up,”’ Reines said. “But his an­swers to some re­ally fun­da­men­tal stuff are just at the very best in­com­plete. At the worst, they are just flat-out un­ac­cept­able.”

Like the rest of his for­mer cam­paign col­leagues, Reines is not un­aware that Comey is as­sail­ing the pres­i­dent’s moral char­ac­ter, his in­abil­ity to tell the truth and his ac­tions that could amount to ob­struc­tion of jus­tice. And for the record, Reines does not dis­agree with any of it.

“I bought the book. I can’t wait for it to come from Ama­zon to­mor­row. I do be­lieve Trump is orange and wears tan­ning glasses,” he said. But that doesn’t take away, he said, from the “acute frus­tra­tion with Jim Comey and want­ing to hold him to an ac­count­able stan­dard.”

Trump has seized on that frus­tra­tion to rant about Comey, tap­ping into — and twist­ing — the Demo­cratic angst.

In a tweet Mon­day morn­ing, the pres­i­dent claimed that Comey had drafted a memo ex­on­er­at­ing Clin­ton “long be­fore” the email in­ves­ti­ga­tion was over. The pres­i­dent ref­er­enced Comey’s han­dling of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server while she was sec­re­tary of state.

“Comey drafted the Crooked Hil­lary ex­on­er­a­tion long be­fore he talked to her (lied in Congress to Se­na­tor

G), then based his de­ci­sions on her poll num­bers,” Trump wrote. “Dis­grun­tled, he, McCabe, and the oth­ers, com­mit­ted many crimes!”

Clin­ton, in part, blames Comey’s han­dling of the email case for her not win­ning the pres­i­dency.

Trump’s ac­cu­sa­tions about Comey’s han­dling of the Clin­ton email in­ves­ti­ga­tion are dif­fer­ent from the ones lodged by her for­mer sup­port­ers. But to­gether, Trump and Clin­ton’s ad­vis­ers are di­vert­ing the con­ver­sa­tion away from Comey’s al­le­ga­tions against the pres­i­dent.

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