James Comey, Kingmaker

Comey knows the weight of his words and the impact they have. He is a chess player who anticipates his moves months in advance, as his own colleagues have described him; someone who, from the FBI, devoted himself to hunt the great criminal minds of the U.S. and who knows too well that patience is a virtue, that being meticulous pays off and—above all—who knows how to use public opinion to get what he wants.

He is nowadays a chess player who generates admiration for directly facing the most despised—and powerful—person on the planet, but of whom we should ask ourselves not only when he began the game, but also where he will end it. We must remember that in October of last year, when he decided to release information about Hillary Clinton’s emails, he also had in his power the information related to possible ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Comey anticipates his moves, is patient and precise and knows how to use the media. Back then he had enough information to derail both campaigns—the evidence against Clinton was even fuzzier than the evidence against Trump—and he chose to do it first with one and then the other.

Facing a decision such as this, with a district attorney accustomed to patience, the order can’t be anything but deliberate. Before Oct. 28, Comey had in his hands information that could compromise both campaigns and provoke institutional chaos in the U.S. He had three options before him in that moment. The first one was to do nothing, which he was not willing to do. The second one was to release all the information he had and compromise the nation’s stability; it wasn’t a viable option either. The third one was to begin with one of the candidates and end with the other once they were in office, when the institutional mechanisms would be able to take care of the situation and avoid the chaos that would follow in different circumstances. From this perspective, the decision seems clear.

This is precisely why it is interesting to know when Comey’s game began and—above all—when it will end. James Comey is the true kingmaker of the U.S. Someone who has been able to anticipate so many moves and swim in the turbulent waters of U.S. politics while maintaining an impeccable reputation must certainly know the final outcome of the game he started. Besides, it would be profoundly unusual for the man who extensively planned everything, to conduct—through an intermediary—the press leaks at the moment when they would have the effect he was seeking. It is true that Donald Trump has reason to be scared, but those who today see Comey as a national hero could also have reason to be wrong: He who is now getting ready to bring the end of one person has already taken care of his main rival at the same time. Only he knows the end of the story, he and, most likely, the person who will end up benefitting from the plans of this character whose objectives are very clear and who has certainly a lot less candor than it appears.

Mexico should be paying close attention. The NAFTA negotiations will occur under volatile circumstances, something both sides will most likely try to exploit. However, Trump is not finished, and along the way, he will try to appeal to his followers through dramatic effects that could involve us. Someone who has not hesitated to put the entire world at risk will certainly not hesitate to do so within his own country. Although, it is likely that James Comey has foreseen all of this.

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