Morning Joe Rips Hillary, Comey, Obama Over Email Fiasco
Last night, I emailed our Legal Insurrection leader Bill Jacobson to say I was counting on Joe Scarborough to have his finest moment this morning in light of the fiasco of the failure of the FBI to recommend the indictment of Hillary Clinton.
This morning, Scarborough rose to the occasion. With significant support from Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe‘s opening segment was one long blast at Hillary — for doing what she did with her email and lying about it — at James Comey — for failing to indict — and at President Obama — for putting his thumb on the scale on Hillary’s behalf. There were many noteworthy moments that you will find in the video montage we’ve assembled. One highlight: Scarborough says that while he doesn’t question Comey’s integrity, “I question his courage.”
The mood in conservative circles since Comey’s announcement has been one that goes beyond disappointment to anger, depression and a sense of helplessness. For now, our only resort is the ballot box. Do the #NeverTrump people really want to perpetuate this kind of brazen lawlessness for another four to eight years?
Readers are encouraged to view the video to get the full sense of the comprehensive condemnation that the Morning Joe crew, with the exception of Hillary supporter Steve Rattner, levelled at the Clintons, Comey and President Obama. Among the other highlights were Joe blasting the media for being “stupid” enough to give big coverage to Hillary’s campaign appearance yesterday with Obama, falling for the “nothing to see here, move along.”
Also, Mark Halperin, whose sources are usually strong [he said two days ago, for example, that the Hillary campaign was feeling very relaxed regarding any possibility of an indictment], predicted that we will be hearing from FBI investigators and prosecutors who might have a different view from Comey’s as to whether Hillary should have been indicted. We’ll stay tuned.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What just happened?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I mean —
JOE: What just happened? I mean, I don’t get it. It’s interesting, I was actually, going to write a post for Washington Post two nights ago and title it “I don’t get it,” because everybody was saying she’s not going to be charged. And I read the statutes and I looked at all the information and I saw the people who had been charged in the past for doing much less than she did and then yesterday morning Jonah Goldberg in the National Review had a column called “I don’t get it.”
This is like a scene out of Big. You’re Tom Hanks and you’re looking at this thing. And I don’t get it. There are people that have been convicted with no intent for doing far, far less and their only crime in the end was their last name wasn’t Clinton, so they didn’t walk. It’s staggering. And then you look, Mika, at what’s happened over the past week with the meeting between Clinton and Lynch. You look at the dangling of the job offer in front of Loretta Lynch in the New York Times. You look at them trying to hide the interview on Saturday morning, Fourth of July weekend, and then Comey yesterday coming out saying she’s guilty but we’re not going to charge her with anything. Which is in effect if you read the statutes and Rudy Giuliani is coming on later today, you read them. It was staggering what we saw yesterday. She’s guilty, but we’re not going to charge her.
. . .
JOE: It also proves, Mika, she just didn’t tell the truth. From the very beginning. She just — we have two candidates running for President of the United States who are completely disconnected from the truth.
MIKA: So, what we have and what we just showed our viewers and we have more, says that for itself. It’s kind of hard to deny. I guess one does it better than the other, in terms of the two candidates. Which is really depressing. And alarming. . . . .
NICOLLE WALLACE: [Comey] cemented with those six exhibits what a lot of people worry about with her, which is that she has a horrifically difficult relationship with the truth. That the Clintons don’t just think they’re above the law, they function in government as though they are above the law.
JOE: And by the way, they time and time again have proven to be above the law. You can lie under oath before a federal grand jury and you’re fine. No, you get disbarred. They disbarred Bill Clinton, but you’re fine. You skate. Any of us lie in front of a federal grand jury, we would go to jail. We just would. If any of us mishandled classified information that way, it would not be followed by a “but we’re not going to file charges.” We would go to jail. There is a naval reservist last year who just got some information which we’ll tell you about, just put some classified information on a private laptop and took it home to his apartment. Had no intent to distribute: arrested, convicted, busted.
. . .
STEVE RATTNER: You have to decide whether you’re going to question the integrity of James Comey who until now has had an unimpeachable reputation for integrity.
JOE: I don’t question, I don’t question —
RATTNER: And where he said very definitively that there was no basis to prosecute her and no responsible prosecutor would have prosecuted her.
MIKA: But that’s not the only thing he said.
JOE: I don’t question James Comey’s —
RATTNER: Joe just said that anybody else would have gone to jail, and James Comey is saying —
JOE: Anybody else would have gone to jail.
RATTNER: Well that’s not what James Comey said.
JOE: Well let me just say: I don’t question James Comey’s integrity, I question his courage.
RATTNER: He lacked the question? You question the courage —
RATTNER: — of a guy who rushed to John Ashcroft’s bedside to put off the chief of staff to the President of the United States?
JOE: I do. Yes, I do. Because the FBI last year under James Comey convicted a man who did far, far less.
MIKA: All right, gentlemen, let’s look at this from a different perspective.
JOE: And I wonder how he’s feeling this morning? Go ahead.
MIKA: There is a big picture that is troubling as well, I think equally as disturbing because after that litany of violations that he outlined, some might say that you would think he would recommend charges. Nope. That didn’t happen. And it seems to cap this investigation, which many feel has the appearances of impropriety from the start. Let’s go back to President Obama. President Obama. The President of the United States speaking out on the case —
JOE: Who runs the Justice Department.
MIKA: — which is still active.
RATTNER: But not the FBI. Comey has a ten-year term.
MIKA: In April, in April: take a look.
BARACK OBAMA: Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy. And, what I also know, because I handle a lot of classified information, is that there is classified and then there’s classified. I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security. Now, what I’ve also said is that, and she has acknowledged that there’s a carelessness in terms of managing e-mails that she has owned and she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective.
JOE: I’ve got to say, Mika, it was also shocking. We mentioned back in October I think on 60 Minutes where he said, in October, while they were investigating. The President of the United States who runs the Justice Department: no evidence, she did nothing to jeopardize national security. That’s not what Comey said yesterday. And here you have the chief law enforcement officer of the United States deciding almost a year before the findings come out that there is nothing to see. That is frightening.
MIKA: Flash forward to eight days ago when President Bill Clinton had a private meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix inside her plane. Lynch says they discussed personal issues like golf and grandkids unrelated to the investigation of Secretary Clinton. Only, it was followed up days later in New York Times which reported that Clintons appear to dangle a job in front of the attorney general. “Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch who took office in April of 2015.”
JOE: This written in the New York Times in the midst of an investigation that could indict Hillary Clinton and end her presidential run and the New York Times doesn’t even write at the end of that sentence, Mika: currently Mrs. Lynch will have a decision on whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton for matters related to her e-mail.
. . .
JOE: And you’ve got the President of the United States, again, we’ve gone down this litany of just how horribly this administration has handled this investiation, and then you’ve got the President of the United States going out, trying to cover up the news of the day —
MIKA: Live at five.
JOE: — and there were people actually stupid enough to lead with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail together. Stupid enough to take their bait. Stupid enough to follow what the white house wanted them to follow. Nothing to see here, move along. The whole thing really is an unfortunate stain on the Obama administration, is it not?
MARK HALPERIN: Well look, at the time the president said what he said, we discussed it at length on the program and it was either the case that he somehow knew the facts of the investigation and was sort of teasing them out, or he was just saying it with no facts. It seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time and I think that’s been borne out. Because he couldn’t have possibly known then all the things that Comey listed yesterday. Comey did something extraordinary.
JOE: So you’re just saying, you’re right. The president just made it up six months ago, eight months ago.
HALPERIN: He must have.
JOE: If you listen to what Comey said. The president was dead wrong when he went on 60 Minutes in the fall saying that she didn’t jeopardize national security. He was dead wrong and reckless while the FBI agents were investigating this case.
HALPERIN: No basis to say it and clearly an improper thing for a president to do in the midst of an ongoing investigation from which he has to keep some arm length distance. What Comey yesterday did was extraordinary and in some ways improper. It’s not really the role of the FBI or a prosecutor to say: here are all the facts we found.He convicted her without giving her in some ways in the court of public opinion without giving her a chance to respond.
I believe now, because he’s opened the door, we’re going to eventually hear from FBI agents who worked on the case, be interesting to see if they all agreed with his decision. The prosecutors that the FBI was working in tandem with: what do they think about this decision? And it will be debated quite a bit in the context of the campaign trail. The Trump folks are looking at what Comey laid out or looking at some of the discrepancies between what she said and the facts. The fact that they claimed that they handed, they read every e-mail and meticulously handed over all the work-related ones has now by Comey’s account proven to be wrong. So I think other people, as Comey has extraordinarily weighed in, I think other people with knowledge of the case are likely, on the record and in other ways, to weigh in as well.
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