Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Comey: To Really Punish Trump, Keep Him Off TV

In an interview Tuesday with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, former FBI Director James Comey said “it’s important that every last person who entered the Capitol” during the assault on Congress last week “be found and charged.”

“They need to feel the force of the rule of law. They need to feel the American people's will to make sure that we're a country that doesn't accept attacks on our democracy. I know my colleagues at the FBI are honored and excited to do this work, and will do it 24 hours a day until they find every one of them.”

Forbes reports Comey said that included President Trump, who “needs to be sanctioned for his behavior and held accountable. I think it is important that he be impeached.” But Comey said it might be better for the country not to pursue criminal charges against the president.

“I just don't think it is in the national interest for Donald Trump to be on our television screens every day for the next three or four years as part of the United States versus Donald Trump in the District of Columbia,” Comey said. “I don't think that helps Joe Biden heal a nation. I don't think it helps us coax the millions of Americans who have been defrauded, who are caught in the fog of lies, I don't think it helps us move them back into a healthy place. And so it’s a hard, painful decision, but I still think it would be better for this country if we move past a fallen and corrupt president, and turned off the television lights on him, which in some ways, would be the greatest punishment he could imagine.”

About the Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol, Comey said “these are terrorists. It would be a mistake for the United States of America to change our rituals, the things that mark our important civic events because of them. We can be prepared. We should be prepared. We should act like the country we are: free and open and safe.”

Comey said the “lack of preparation” that left Capitol Police overwhelmed by the rioters was “appalling,” but that “law enforcement definitely can handle these kinds of riots, attacks, and civil disturbances. If they have the information they need and they prepare...the 50 states can secure their capitols, and the United States can secure its capitol.”

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