By, Jason Taylor
So let me get this straight. 11 days before arguably the most consequential election of the modern era, FBI director Comey makes a decision to publicize the fact that new information from previously undiscovered emails retrieved in a parallel investigation of a Clinton aide is being scrutinized. He does so by firing off a letter to congressional committee chairmen, all hyper-partisan Republicans and rabid Clinton antagonists (Chaffetz, Shelby, Grassley, Johnson, Burr, etc.) and releasing a copy to the press.
This was not notification of intention to reopen a case which was never officially closed, but rather an announcement that new unspecified material had been recovered and “appropriate investigative steps” would be taken. Only the hopelessly naïve can possibly believe that Mr. Comey was unaware that this action would ignite a firestorm of controversy, unleash crosscurrents of partisan rancor, and exacerbate the fears of an anxiety-ridden nation. This would seem on its face to be a provocative and irresponsible course of action in contravention of the public good by a public servant who should know better. If, as I expect, there is no evidence of malfeasance any more explosive or incriminating than that already revealed from investigations to date, I believe serious institutional introspection is in order.
I”m beginning to believe that Comey and the FBI are functioning as an arm of the Republican House committee out to get Clinton on any flimsy pretext. This is a minor email scandal that has turned into a farce. Never ending investigations into political opponents and witch hunts that have lasted longer than Watergate. Ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. The US is functioning more like a Banana Republic these days than a democracy.
Even if found culpable ultimately, the penalties are administrative, not criminal. Still much ado about really nothing, but one can easily see how such a dust-up would be welcomed and bloviated on by the Trump campaign, the Republican Party and certain corners of the media. One has to also question the timing of Comey’s letter (as was his unusual extra-contemporaneous comments not at all in keeping with usual FBI practice) , its cryptic nature and his Republican past as well as the effect of the withering criticism he received by those of his own party when he failed to fall in line with their narrative that this was criminally negligent activity.
Comey’s unorthodox presentation when he announced no charges would be advanced against Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails and then his offer to testify before Congress to explain his actions was against all excepted protocols and his motives were questioned. Was he merely covering his a-s in anticipation of Congressional Republican outrage or was it finally time for payback to Bill Clinton? His actions today show both are probably true. Republicans have been bashing Comey for months and he just handed a political bomb to Trump and Republican down ballot races.
Eleven days before an election, Comey has inserted himself and the supposedly apolitical FBI directly into a presidential election, rigging the election in favor of Republicans. He’s regarded as politically very savvy and knew exactly what he was doing.