Former FBI Director James Comey defended the bureau on Thursday after Rudy Giuliani compared FBI agents to “stormtroopers” over last month’s raid on President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
“I know the New York FBI. There are no ‘stormtroopers’ there; just a group of people devoted to the rule of law and the truth. Our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them, rather than comparing them to Nazis,” Comey wrote in a tweet.
The term “stormtroopers” originated during World War I to describe German assault troops, but it’s also been applied to enforcers of the early Nazi Party during the rise of Adolf Hitler. In modern times, it’s become known for describing enemy infantrymen in the “Star Wars” universe.
In a Wednesday interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Giuliani revealed that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. In discussing the transaction, Giuliani criticized an FBI raid on Cohen that took place last month.
After Giuliani referred to the $130,000 payment as a “settlement payment,” and described it as “a very regular thing for lawyers to do,” he said, “the question there was – the only possible violation there would be, was it a campaign finance violation, which usually would result in a fine by the way not this big, stormtroopers coming in and breaking down his apartment, and breaking down his office.”
CNN has previously reported that the FBI raid – which was prompted by search warrants that had been executed by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York – included a search for information related to the agreement with Daniels. Giuliani’s remark on Wednesday was particularly notable, as he was once a US attorney for the district.
Giuliani, like Trump, has offered up scathing criticism of Comey. At one point during his interview with Hannity, Giuliani said of the former FBI director, “this is a very perverted man.” He also called Comey “a disgraceful liar.”
CNN’s Eli Watkins contributed to this report.