Over the past year, former New York Times editor Jill Abramson has undergone a political Damascene conversion in her attitude towards the FBI.
After all, in early December 2016, Abramson used her column in The Guardian to deride the FBI for what she saw as its role in ending Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Assessing who was the "real killer" of Clinton's campaign, Abramson stated that "James Comey is a chief suspect." She challenged all those "who seek to minimize the Comey effect" in Clinton's loss.
But that was eons ago — or 13 months ago, which is roughly the same thing.
In her latest column released on Sunday, Abramson preaches a slightly different message.
Referencing White House counsel Donald McGahn's apparent opposition to Trump's reported efforts to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Abramson declares "[McGahn] in the same league of honor as former FBI director James Comey." Comey is now a good guy, Abramson says, because he once opposed George W. Bush on warrantless wiretapping.
Next, Abramson gives us a lesson in government ethics and political philosophy.
Decrying a "political poison" that is "toxic to democracy," she laments that "instead of holding Trump to account, Republicans are joining him in a cynical attempt to tarnish the FBI's [Russia investigation]," which "is crucial to the functioning of the law."
I agree with the sentiment of those words, but Abramson, I fear, is not the most reliable of messengers here. While she might now laud "upholding the legitimacy of [Mueller's] investigation — and investigators" as "so important," in December 2016, she blamed Comey's investigation — and by defined association, the FBI — for Hillary Clinton's election defeat.
Did Abramson "hold" Clinton "to account" for her failings?
No, she did exactly what she complains Republicans are doing now, and "tarnished" the FBI.
Call me a stickler, but I venture that Abramson lacks some credibility here.