James Comey has reopened the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton – and he’s the main target of criticism as a result.
While the media was happy to applaud the Republican head of the FBI for not playing politics when letting Hillary Clinton off the hook at the conclusion of their original investigation, all of a sudden the man is accused of attempting to rig the election. In fact, as Newsbusters observed, the major networks made nearly three times as many criticisms of Comey over Hillary in their coverage.
Well, was he really trying to influence the election? You’d think if he was trying to do that, he’d just have recommended charges against Hillary the first time around. Not only that, as HotAir reported, the man had refused to formally accuse Russia of meddling in the election…. because he didn’t want to meddle in the election.
FBI Director James Comey argued privately that it was too close to Election Day for the United States government to name Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and ultimately ensured that the FBI’s name was not on the document that the U.S. government put out, a former FBI official tells CNBC.The official said some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday… According to the former official, Comey agreed with the conclusion the intelligence community came to: “A foreign power was trying to undermine the election. He believed it to be true, but was against putting it out before the election.” Comey’s position, this official said, was “if it is said, it shouldn’t come from the FBI, which as you’ll recall it did not.”
Those criticizing Comey for this decision are viewing this as evidence that he’d influence the election negatively for Hillary but not for Trump.
However, the FBI’s investigation into Hillary is due to alleged misconduct. Donald Trump is not responsible for people that he has no connection to trying to influence an election. Additionally, as HotAir’s Allahpundit notes; Assume it’s true. Comey knew the accusation against Russia was coming out anyway but he didn’t want the Bureau’s signature on the press release. Could it be that he was sensitive to perceptions that the FBI was meddling in the election because he’d … already essentially meddled in the election months earlier on Hillary Clinton’s behalf?
This is the piece of the puzzle that liberals keep leaving out of their theories over the last 48 hours. Why would a guy who let Hillary skate on felony national-security charges months ago decide to try to tilt the election to Trump at the last minute? Comey would have been perfectly within his rights to recommend indictment in July. The statute, 18 U.S.C. 793, requires nothing more than gross negligence in mishandling classified information. He acknowledged in his press conference at the time that Clinton and her staff had been “extremely careless.”
He refused to charge, he said, because traditionally offenders aren’t prosecuted unless they’ve mishandled classified information intentionally. But there’s no reason to adhere to a high standard of mens rea in a case as significant as this when the statute doesn’t require it. Clinton was a cabinet officer. In a better world the gravity of a cabinet officer showing half-assed oversight of state secrets would be prosecuted aggressively to make an example of her, to show the rest of the federal bureaucracy how important proper care is in guarding classified material. But he gave her a pass. And now, supposedly, he’s in the tank for Trump. Huh?
How ironic that just weeks after Hillary Clinton called Trump’s rhetoric about him competing in a rigged election a “threat to democracy,” is now complaining that the system is rigged against her.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]