Arizona Sen. John McCain tipped his hat to FBI director James Comey in a glowing tribute for Time’s 100 Most Influential People list, labeling the bureau director as principled, independent and honorable.
“Integrity is a word that doesn’t get used a lot in Washington anymore,” McCain wrote for the feature, which was published Thursday. “But that is the quality that has defined James Comey’s service to our nation.”
Comey, who made the controversial decision to announce that the FBI would continue looking into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server 11 days before the election, and this year made waves with his testimony confirming that the FBI was probing the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, has been sharply criticized by those from both the left and right.
Many on the left have said that Comey’s October announcement into the reopening of the Clinton email investigation turned the public against Clinton and gave now-President Donald Trump a last-minute boost to win the White House. But when the FBI director testified about the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign, he was in turn slammed by Trump supporters for what they said was a politically motivated smear.
McCain, who has been vocal about his concern over Russia’s influence in the election, has been an ardent supporter of Comey’s actions, particularly surrounding the Trump-Russia probe. In the Time column, McCain wrote that the FBI director “followed the law, spoke the truth and did what he believed was right” no matter the circumstances.
“Shifting political winds have blown criticism James Comey’s way from different partisan directions,” McCain wrote. “But his independence has never faltered. His integrity has never wavered. And I know that in the pursuit of justice, it never will.”