Comey announces FBI cooperation in new documentary series

FBI Director James Comey waits before testifying at a House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTX31UMP

FBI Director James Comey announced Thursday that he allowed producers Dick Wolf and Marc Levin to have access to the bureau’s New York offices for a year to film a new TV series.

“We have to care what people think about us,” Comey explained during an interview at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “The faith and confidence of the American people is the bedrock.”

The series will be called “Inside the FBI: New York” and is produced by Dick Wolf, the creator of “Law and Order”, along with documentarian Marc Levin. 

He hopes that the new documentary series will boost the FBI’s image, an understandable wish following a campaign season in which the FBI played an unusually public—and scrutinized—role. 

“I worry sometimes that people don’t know us,” Comey said. “We did a lot last year that confused people.”

The FBI, and Comey in particular, were criticized fiercely during the latter months of the election for their handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s treatment of classified information on a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Comey’s announcement 11 days before Election Day that new, potentially relevant emails had been found on a laptop owned by longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin is considered by some Democrats to be what cost Clinton the election. Before that, Republicans criticized Comey for not recommending that charges be brought against Clinton. 

More recently, Comey has been occupied with FBI’s counter-intelligence investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, who are considered by the intelligence community to have attempted to interfere in the election to the Trump campaign’s benefit.

Comey believes the confusion about and frustration towards the FBI is partisan in nature.

“They see the world through sides,” Comey claimed. “If you see the world through sides, the FBI doesn’t make a lot of sense to you. “We are not on anybody’s side. We really don’t care.”

Wolf and Levin’s crew filmed from September 2015 until September 2016, recording the FBI’s responses to major events, such as the Paris terror attacks in 2015 and the 2016 bombing in Chelsea, New York.