Clinton and Comey: United in damaging the country

Clinton and Comey: United in damaging the country

The FBI has politicized itself, and its reputation will suffer for a long time.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., October 30, 2016 — The long anticipated other shoe has dropped. America received yet another “October surprise,” and what a surprise it is!

On Friday, breaking with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Justice Department tradition, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress advising that in the course of investigating serial sexter and selfie fetishist Anthony Weiner, the FBI had discovered e-mails that were potentially relevant to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server.

The letter returns attention to the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s irregular use, storage and subsequent destruction of her official State Department emails.

The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer quoted a Justice Department officials regarding the timing of Comey’s close to the national election announcement: “You don’t do this. It’s aberrational. It violates decades of practice … it impugns the integrity and reputation of the candidate, even though there’s no finding by a court, or in this instance, even an indictment.”

The Trump campaign has made hay from this bombshell news. Trump voters have long made their opinion of Clinton’s honesty clear, regularly chanting, “Lock her up!” at their rallies.

And the Clinton campaign understandably squawks about Comey’s timing and the effect it will have on the election, less than two weeks away.

While the spotlight currently is on Clinton, there are also real questions surrounding Comey’s actions. Career agents inside the FBI have been critical from the beginning about Comey’s irregular investigation of Clinton, which failed to interview key witnesses, left obvious sources of evidence on the table, and then too hastily exonerated Clinton for actions that have landed other offenders in federal lock-up.

Andrew Napolitano, former judge and senior judicial analyst for Fox News, said many law enforcement agents involved with the Clinton email investigation deplore Comey’s original shelving of the matter. “It is well known that the FBI agents on the ground, the human beings who did the investigative work, had built an extremely strong case against Hillary Clinton and were furious when the case did not move forward,” said Napolitano. “They believe the decision not to prosecute came from The White House.”

According to Fox News, “The claim also is backed up by a report in the New York Post … which quotes a number of veteran FBI agents saying FBI Director James Comey ‘has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his cowardly whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private email server.’”

Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit, told the Post that “The FBI has politicized itself, and its reputation will suffer for a long time. I hold Director Comey responsible.” “And retired FBI agent Michael M. Biasello added to the report, saying, ‘Comey has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the organization.’”

Fox News’s Judge Jeanine Pirro, a Trump supporter, assailed Comey for generating a possible Constitutional crisis “the likes of which our nation hasn’t seen since the Civil War. If Hillary is indicted after she is elected, what happens next? Can she even serve while under indictment?”

Lawyers will argue long and hard and history books, citing legal precedents, will discuss the Comey-Clinton scandal of 2016. But despite legal intricacies, the tense and fierce partisan politics, and just plain hare-brained actions by many involved in the matter, an argument could be made that had simple, basic, prevailing FBI investigatory procedures been followed from the beginning—the ones normally employed in similar cases—the current constitutional mess might have been avoided.

As Fox News pointed out at the time Comey publicly overlooked his agency’s findings to round up the Clinton investigation early, his own FBI team was incensed. According to Fox News,

“Especially angering the team, which painstakingly pieced together deleted emails and interviewed witnesses to prove that sensitive information was left unprotected, was the fact that Comey based his decision on a conclusion that a recommendation to charge would not be followed by DOJ prosecutors, even though the bureau’s role was merely to advise.”

“Basically, James Comey hijacked the DOJ’s role by saying ‘no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case,’” a Fox News source said. “The FBI does not decide who to prosecute and when, that is the sole province of a prosecutor—that never happens … I know zero prosecutors in the DOJ’s National Security Division who would not have taken the case to a grand jury,” the source added. “One was never even convened.”

America has a Constitution. That prescient document details the limits of government. The founders intentionally restricted government in what actions it may take against its citizens. And United States law enforcement agencies from the Justice Department on down, have their rules and operating procedures based on the concept of blind justice. The rules that apply to the man in the street presumably also must apply to the high and mighty.

The rise of Donald J. Trump, who touts himself as a “Law and Order” candidate, may partly be laid at the feet of the likes of James Comey and Hillary Clinton. Ordinary Americans across this great land would like to see Lady Justice’s blindfold replaced over her eyes. It’s very simple really: Follow the rules. Public servants must do their jobs with a moral, ethical frame of mind.

Most Americans operate within the law. And they want those who represent them, officials like James Comey, to operate with the identical same law. Without prejudice.

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