A Higher Loyalty
James Comey

by contributor

Nina Calhoun

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Context

James Comey’s status as one of the longest-serving government officials in the Department of Justice comes as no surprise to most. Comey began his career as an assistant US attorney based in the Southern District of New York. In the subsequent years, he quickly rose through the ranks to hold crucial positions in the judicial hierarchy as the deputy of the United States Attorney and in federal law enforcement as the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. From his long tenure and decades of experience in both the government and law, it is clear that Comey possesses a level of insight into the workings of these foundational organizations that protect, preserve, and reinforce legislative integrity. Despite Comey’s good standing with the Obama administration, his career abruptly and unceremoniously came to an end in 2017 when the newly-elected President, Donald Trump, fired Comey without his knowledge on the official recommendation of Rod Rosenstein. At the outset of Comey’s departure from his role in FBI leadership, signs indicating a schism and distrust between domestic political factions and foreshadowing the wider social tensions to come were becoming more and more obvious.

As the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Comey was in charge of investigating the alleged Russian Interference in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States of America.  There were talks of the involvement of Russians in the 2016 elections, in favor of President Donald Trump, a perception that the president vehemently denied. Being the chief of the FBI, James Comey got involved in the matter. Against the support of the president, James Comey vowed to push with the establishment of the circumstances, if any, and the extent of the Russian alleged involvement in the elections. Investigations revealed that there were traces of evidence to suggest that the Russian spy agencies had infiltrated the American electioneering systems and their actions tilted the results in favor of President Donald Trump.

Structurally, the Federal Bureau of Investigations is an independent arm of government. Its director does not receive orders from any quarters regarding the approach that they need to take when approaching a particular investigation. It is only through this independence that the organization may carry out its investigations and contribute to the improvement of the security status of the country. As early as the time of President Barrack Obama, Comey had already been concerned about the non-interference from any other branch of government and he got assurance from President Obama that the office of the Director of Federal Bureau of Investigations will retain its independence. Fast Forward, President Trump assumed office as the President of the United States of America.

Comey holds that if there is to be loyalty in leadership or service, the loyalty ought to be to the subjects. Any American who is in a position of leadership is under obligation to be loyal to the people of America.  Subsequently, anything that they do must be serving the interests of Americans rather than personal interests or the interests of the people in authority.

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