In the most manifestly heartfelt moment of his testimony, James Comey spoke as a true and passionate patriot about the Russian effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“Nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about… except for other Americans, but we had a foreign government…try to shape the way we think, we vote, we act…which is a big deal,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
He went on, “It’s not about Democrats and Republicans. They are coming after America, which I hope we all love equally."
The question left for the country is why all those who profess to love America do not share Comey’s outrage.
That includes Trump supporters, even though the Russian effort benefitted their candidate.
That also includes President Trump himself, even though he was the intended beneficiary of that effort.
In pressing Comey to drop the investigation into a “good guy” like Mike Flynn, Trump may simply not have understood the rules are different from when he was wheeling and dealing in New York real estate.
But any true American should be roused to fury by the thought that a foreign power would seek to subvert the democracy that makes us who we are.
How can Trump talk about making America great again and try to dismiss such subversion as just Fake News concocted by a bunch of sore losers?
As Comey and virtually everybody else in the know asserts, the Russian effort was the realest of news.
“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever,” Comey declared.
“The Russians interfered in our election during 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that. Community and members of this committee have seen the intelligence. It's not a close call. That happened.”
Trump should have been cheering Comey on and proclaiming that the whole country wanted him to determine the truth.
Instead, Trump fired him and exulted in the Oval office to a pair of Russian diplomats that getting rid of the “nut job” Comey had taken the pressure off.
But in the aftermath of the firing came a blessing with the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation.
“Bob Mueller is one of the country’s great, great pros,” Comey rightly testified. “And you've got the right person in Bob Mueller to lead it, it is a very important piece of work.”
If you doubt that, consider Mueller’s investigation in 2015 for the National Football League after Ray Rice punched out his girlfriend in an elevator.
Report to the National Football League of an Independent Investigation into the Ray Rice Incident, the exhaustive and minutely detailed result is titled.
And now that there has been an attempt to punch out Lady Liberty herself, Mueller is just the one to take the case. Forget about all the fuss about leaks and all buzz over the scoops and the unending nattering on cable news. Mueller will just keep working it to its rightful conclusion.
You need only ask detectives who worked with him when he was a front-line homicide prosecutor back in the 1990s.
“Very dedicated, very sharp, very detailed oriented,” retired police Captain W. Louis Hennessey, then commander of the homicide squad, told The Daily Beast last week. “He’s probably the perfect person for what’s going on.”
Hennessey then said, “Without a doubt, we know we’re going to get the truth.”