Perhaps the first rule of Deep State is don't talk about Deep State. Former FBI Director James Comey, in his recent closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, said "there is no deep state." The deep state---a group of entrenched Washington D.C. insiders and bureaucrats scheming to undermine President Trump---has been the subject of much debate in the two years since Trump took office.
Comey, a purported member of that deep state, told Congressional members it doesn't exist. However, he went on to describe a "deep culture" at the FBI and other federal agencies, adding that no president serves long enough to "screw up" that culture. Comey also took veiled shots at the president, saying that limiting damage to federal agencies depends on members of those agencies having the "courage" to stand up and "speak out."
Jacquie Baly, political science professor at the University of Houston, finds Comey's comments hard to buy. "There's definitely a deep bias against our current president," she tells KTRH. "(Comey) may say it's not a deep state, but there is something."
Baly cites Comey and his former number two at the FBI as two prime examples of deep state-like behavior. "You have former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was leaking information to the Wall Street Journal, and was ordering FBI agents to stop the investigation into the Clinton Foundation," she says. "Then you have Comey himself, who was leaking information and made sure that a special counsel was not hired for the Clinton investigation, but was definitely on board with a special counsel for the president."
Whether or not the deep state exists, Baly believes it is unquestionable that the actions of Comey, McCabe and others have tarnished the reputation of agencies like the FBI. "Now, we're beginning to discover there is a lot of politics, more so in that agency than others, and that's not the way it's supposed to be," she says.