Following another day of closed-door testimony on Capitol Hill, former FBI Director James Comey ripped into President Trump’s recent tweet calling his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen “a rat.”
“It undermines the rule of law,” Comey said. “This is the president of the U.S. calling a witness who is cooperating with his own Justice Department a ‘rat.’ Say that again to yourself at home and remind yourself where we ended up. This is not about Republicans and Democrats. This is about — what does it mean to be an American? …There’s a set of values that represent the glue of this country, and they are under attack by things just like that. We have to stop being numb to it.”
James Comey: "This is the President of the United States calling a witness who is cooperating with his own Justice Department a 'rat.' Say that again to yourself at home and remind yourself where we have ended up." Via ABC. pic.twitter.com/WGOnsEiOwO
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 17, 2018
Comey’s comments come after a Trump tweet on Sunday, in which the president blasted Cohen for cooperating with federal prosecutors in New York and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
A federal judge last week sentenced Cohen to 36 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for efforts he made to silence women claiming to have had extramarital affairs with Trump before the 2016 election, as well as tax and bank fraud. He has also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about negotiations over a Trump Organization real estate project in Moscow.
“Remember, Michael Cohen only became a ‘Rat’ after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?” Trump wrote.
Remember, Michael Cohen only became a “Rat” after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
“This is a top law enforcement officer in our system of government calling somebody who decides to tell the government the truth ‘a rat.’ That’s language of a mobster, not of the president,” said Lanny Davis, an adviser to Cohen. “But Michael Cohen took ownership and personal responsibility for lying, and he’s going to jail as consequence.”
“He not only consented to, he thanked them for their courtesy as they left,” Davis said Sunday, referencing Trump’s allegation that the FBI “broke into” Cohen’s office. “You have a president denouncing the FBI, lying about a warrant and legal search. He’s the top law enforcement officer of the country, and who does he praise? He praises people who have lied and refused to cooperate. The opposite of what a president should do.”