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James Comey

James Comey Quotes

Quotes by and about James Comey

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Comey: "The promise I've tried to honor my entire career [is] that the rule of law and the design of the founders ... will be at the heart of what the FBI does."

Comey: "[At the FBI] we cannot read your emails or listen to your calls without going to a federal judge, making a showing of probable cause. ... It is an extremely burdensome process. And I like it that way."

Comey: "My philosophy as a leader is we are never good enough."

Comey: "I care about doing the right thing."

Comey: "[I believe in] the importance of ... accountability. [One must have] an understanding of the dangers of falling in love with [one's] own rectitude."

The Independent: "[He is someone] who [dares] to say no to his masters in the nobler cause of defending the integrity of ... justice."

The Daily Beast: "[He] has legions of supporters who see him as a paragon of virtue."

Politico Magazine: "Those who know Comey describe him as a good and decent man, a brilliant attorney, and a dedicated public servant without any whiff of politics about him."

Newsweek Magazine: "Those who have worked with Comey say his leadership is of the kinder, gentler mode, something most veteran FBI agents weren't accustomed to."

Dan Levin: "He has a rock-solid commitment to the rule of law in keeping with the very best traditions of the Bureau and the Department of Justice, and unshakeable integrity."

Daniel Richman: "This is somebody who grew up in a variety of administrations, and was able to, I think, do a remarkable job of ... always trying to do the right thing. Hewing to that as your only goal is a really good start. Even if you don't have divine wisdom to know what the right thing is, at least trying to get there is the beginning of a very promising relationship with power."

The Daily Beast: "In choosing to nominate James Comey to run the FBI, Obama [was] acting within the tradition of presidents who wanted to be able to say they had appointed a law-enforcement officer who was independent, incorruptible, and beyond politics."

The Daily Beast: "In 2004, as deputy attorney general, Comey ... stood up to President Bush himself in the Oval Office, threatening to resign if Bush reauthorized the wiretapping program over his objections. As a measure of the loyalty Comey commanded, FBI Director Robert Mueller and numerous other Justice Department employees had prepared their own letters of resignation. Bush ... backed down."

The Daily Beast: "There is also a dissenting view of Comey. Some former Bush administration officials look at the same actions and see a streak of self-righteousness and a flair for melodrama that has at times clouded his judgment. Critics contend that Comey had no business interfering with the presidential 'national security command authority,' as one former Bush administration official saw it. 'If past is prologue,' says one former Justice Department official who worked with Comey and knows him well, '[once he is director of the FBI] something will happen in the context of a legal, policy, or operational disagreement where Jim may get on the high horse and threaten to resign or take some other action unless things go the way he believes they should.'"

Newsweek Magazine: "There is an undercurrent of persistent dissent about Comey. ... [His] detractors ... see a gunslinging prosecutor who is cocksure and possesses an overweening sense of his own righteousness. ... These critics say his actions reflect an unyielding, black-and-white approach to morality."

Richard Hertling: "People like [Comey] do what they do because they are driven by a very stern code of right and wrong. ... I'd rather have someone with a self-assured moral compass running the FBI than someone who sees shades of gray and would be willing to cut corners for themselves."

Newsweek Magazine: "[All] sides ... agree [that he] has a strong moral compass and follows it."