Apparently the entire FBI is filled with moralizing blowhards patterned after Michael Shannon’s character in Boardwalk Empire, Agent Nelson van Alden:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has struck a stoic and righteous tone in private conversations he has had this week about the fate of his job as President Donald Trump has launched public criticism against him and considered firing him, according to three sources who have spoken to Rosenstein.
In those conversations, he has repeated the phrase, “Here I stand,” a reference to Martin Luther’s famous quote, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” Coincidentally, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Rosenstein fired, repeated the same phrase to President George W. Bush in a conversation that has been widely reported and that Comey describes in his forthcoming book.
That’s right on the heels of this portion of a NY Times mutual masturbation society meeting:
What books over the years have most influenced your thinking?
Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Moral Man and Immoral Society” and “The Nature and Destiny of Man” had a huge impact on me, as did Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style,” which was one of 12 books in my college course “Significant Books in Western Religion.” The professor believed that all ideas are wasted that can’t be clearly expressed. King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” was also one of the 12 books and is the only book I’ve read repeatedly as an adult. More recently, I was really struck by Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.”
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
I read “Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg, when I was the F.B.I. director and recommended it to the workforce, so Ms. Sandberg would be invited. And if she doesn’t mind eating with dead people, I’d also have Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. Both were remarkable observers of human nature and America. It would be really interesting to pick their brains about current events.
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) April 12, 2018
The bonus of it all is he didn’t need to fucking think about whether or not to go give that speech tanking Clinton. It didn’t require any Niebuhresque judgment, it just required he follow the fucking DOJ guidelines that were already in place:
The day before the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, sent a letter to Congress announcing that new evidence had been discovered that might be related to the completed Hillary Clinton email investigation, the Justice Department strongly discouraged the step and told him that he would be breaking with longstanding policy, three law enforcement officials said on Saturday.
Senior Justice Department officials did not move to stop him from sending the letter, officials said, but they did everything short of it, pointing to policies against talking about current criminal investigations or being seen as meddling in elections.
That Mr. Comey moved ahead despite those protestations underscores the unusual nature of Friday’s revelations, which added a dramatic twist to the final days of the presidential campaign. His action reignited a firestorm that Mrs. Clinton believed she had put behind her when the F.B.I. decided in July not to charge anyone in the investigation into the handling of classified information on her private email server.
Remember, that was after he had already created new Clinton rules in July and decided to speechify about Clinton when they decided not to prosecute the nothingburger of an email case. He called Clinton “careless,” when in fact it was he who was being careless and reckless.
For the record, it’s entirely possible to, as I do, think that Comey and company are a bunch of insufferable pricks while also thinking they are telling the truth about Orange Julius Caesar. I also maintain that Comey was convinced Clinton was going to win and was trying to shore up GOP losses in the House and Senate and also sending a shot across the incoming President’s bow about who the boss in town was, as well as settling an old score with the Clenis on the Mark Rich pardon.
In closing, fuck these guys. They make you long for the days of FBI agents who were merely vindictive monsters who secretly liked women’s clothing but kept their mouths shut in public. Additionally, we need to stop allowing college students to read Niebuhr, Luther, Oakeshotte, etc., unless they sign a NDA stating they will not issue any public mention of them without first having their statement approved by their old professor or someone with standing in the field who actually understood what they read.