Former FBI Director James Comey responded to today’s news of top Trump campaign officials being indicted with a quote from his favorite theologian.
In a tweet from his account (named “Reinhold Niebuhr” after the 20th century protestant theologian) that was confirmed to be his last week, Comey shared his views about the necessity of democratic institutions following the arrests of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, and his deputy, Rick Gates.
“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary,” Comey tweeted, attributing the quote to Niebuhr.
“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” Reinhold Niebuhr
— Reinhold Niebuhr (@FormerBu) October 30, 2017
Comey was suddenly fired from his position as FBI director in May, coincidentally following his request for a higher budget in order to properly investigate the possibility of collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian government officials. In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt following his firing of Comey, President Trump alluded to the Russia investigation when asked why he fired his FBI director.
During his high-profile testimony before Congress, Comey recalled President Trump asking him to cease his agency’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in March. Flynn resigned as the nation’s top national security official following reports that he had unsanctioned talks with Russia’s ambassador to the United States concerning sanctions imposed by the Obama administration. Comey testified that he refused to drop the investigation despite Trump’s request.
While it was speculated that the “Reinhold Niebuhr” account belonged to James Comey, the former FBI director tweeted photos of himself both in Iowa and at Howard University from the account, confirming that the rarely used social media account did, in fact, belong to him. In an October 23 tweet, Comey promised his followers that he would “try to tweet in useful ways.”
Goodbye Iowa. On the road home. Gotta get back to writing. Will try to tweet in useful ways. pic.twitter.com/DCbu3Yvqt3
— Reinhold Niebuhr (@FormerBu) October 23, 2017
Honored to be at Howard tonight for first session. It was a great group with important questions. Looking forward to the rest of the year. pic.twitter.com/9qFwatxRVB
— Reinhold Niebuhr (@FormerBu) October 26, 2017
Matthew P. Robbins is a freelance economics contributor covering wages, budgets, and taxes. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his husband and two cats.