The Comey Rule is hard-hitting and mind-blowing. It narrates the aggressive struggle of a single man and his comrades to keep law and order out of politics. James Comey, the holding FBI director in 2016 was of the thinking that, thoughtful disagreement is one of the strong pillars of democracy. In the eyes of the law, the President and the civilians stand the same and he tried his best to stand firm on his words until 2016 happened.
Based on the book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership written by former FBI director, James Comey, the series showcases his conflicting life from the time he held office to the period, he was fired. This two-part mini-series has been extraordinarily performed by Jeff Daniels acting as James Comey. His screen presence as a humble righteous man displays his unknown acting potential, some people might not be aware of. Brendan Gleeson as President Donald Trump is incredibly believable. The minutes and the details captured by Billy Ray is exceptional. His direction in The Comey Rule is a work of genius which makes the series stand out as a political drama.
‘The Comey Rule’ Plot Summary
It is a single narrative story told from the perspective of a self-centered Rod Rosenstein (Scoot McNairy). The story travels back to 2013 where we meet a humble-looking, righteous man, James Comey (Jeff Daniels). The president at the time, Barack Obama, hired James Comey as the acting FBI Director after being impressed by his discipline and word-of-mouth about him. “Money is nice. Stopping Bad Guys is better.”
In 2 years, Jim proved himself and soon his actions were lauded by both internal and external people of the FBI. But the real test of his character commences when the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email leak begins at the FBI.
The first episode deals with the case prominently as Jim tries hard not to influence the upcoming 2016 elections. But some things are unavoidable even for the director of the FBI.
The second episode, which is almost 2 hours long, deals with the struggles of James Comey to keep the FBI apolitical but is surrounded by so many political evils that his courage gives up. He tries to maintain a cool personality but couldn’t cope up. Trump demands Jim’s loyalty and Jim promises him to show honesty, not loyalty. But the palette of an egocentric doesn’t have much space for colors, for Trump. Either Comey was loyal to him or he wasn’t. The episodes further explore the complications Comey had with Trump.
Struggle to Keep FBI Autonomous
From the beginning to the end of his office, James Comey fought for a single cause. Not let politics or politicians influence the decision of the FBI. He tried to maintain the highest stature of this independent body but failed miserably. In the first episode, after the leakage of Hillary Clinton’s emails, Jim and his team investigated it for a year with no concrete evidence against her, except for extreme ignorance. But Trump used the seeds of doubt to plant his own campaign and he had foreign friends who helped him in his actions.
Russia took active participation in the 2016 elections. Targeting Hillary through fake Facebook and Twitter campaigns, and leaked emails, they carved an image of her in the media that was hated by every American. Male voters are gender-loyal in a way that women aren’t. And Trump isn’t being investigated by anyone.
When the Department of Justice demands a report from the FBI, they come forward and tell them that Hillary is innocent. Though, Trump and his supporters neglected the FBI investigation and called it ignorant. Trump tweeted, “the system is rigged.”
The case seemed to be fading away when Russia leaked another piece of information concerning Anthony Weiner. He was convicted as a sex offender and his personal laptop gave away many other emails from Hillary that weren’t investigated in the previous investigation. This happened just a few weeks before the election. Jim’s principal and ethical approach led him to re-open the case that gave a lethal blow to the Hillary campaign. Though he found nothing in the investigation, he had already influenced the election, something he wanted to avoid at all costs.
A man already in guilt, still tries to keep up the good work but as Trump took the presidential position, he outspokenly demanded the FBI’s loyalty towards him. This meant to drop the all investigation against Donald Trump, that proposed his ties with Russia or Putin.
When James fails to prove his loyalty, Trump fires him unquestioningly.
The backbone or the theme of the whole series is based on this man’s struggle to keep politics out of law and order. Trump already had the media in his hand, he was influencing people through fake news, and the FBI was the only thing that remained autonomous. But before the body could take action, the people of America already elected their doom. Jim was helpless after the election. He couldn’t investigate Trump or Russia and have to comply with the politicians who became the clown dictator of the democracy.
Russia and The Fake News
The Comey Rule entertainingly describes how fake news is injected into the system. It begins with a joke, which is repeated so many times, that it actually becomes a truth, transforming into fact, thereon.
Russia popularized this fake information about Hillary so Trump could have a chance in these elections. Trump was already a puppet of Russia, for many reasons. Thus, Russia had total control over the democracy of America for those 4 years and that’s how things screwed up. Each individual in the Oval Office knew what Trump is up to, but everyone kept their mouth shut because they didn’t want to get fired.
After Comey was fired, many of his workmates either resigned or were fired for “doing their job.” That was the state, America was once in. Doesn’t matter who the President is, or which party is in power. The institutions or the rule of law. Nothing ever knocks them down.
The Comey Rule runs smoothly with a thrilling drama at its center. Jeff Daniels as James Comey is so truthful and honest that his innocence captures your attention and you feel attached to his plight. Fighting against the bad guys has always been a central genre of Cinema but not all guys do that with guns and bombs in hand. Some do it with words, and people like Jim, do it with their daily actions and discipline. Some political dramas are too heavy to soak in, but The Comey Rule is something at the center. It is loaded with information but the characters and plot are equally compelling.
If House of Cards attracted you a bit, The Comey Rule tries its best to match the pace. However, there is always a line between fiction and non-fiction, where fiction leads the way always. The reality isn’t always charming.
The Comey Rule is both informative and entertaining packed in just 2 episodes, running over 4 hours in total.
The Comey Rule is a 2020 Political Mini Series created by Billy Ray.