Comey Book: October 2016 Disclosure of Hillary Email Investigation Based On Assumption She Would Win
“If I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected”
Former FBI director James Comey’s book reportedly includes unsubstantiated accusations against then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. He reportedly writes that he was aware of “’unverified’ information discovered by the U.S. government in 2016 from a classified source [that] ‘would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation’.”
Comey’s book also reportedly reveals that his firm belief that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election influenced his decision-making process and that his goal in his October announcement was to help ensure the legitimacy of her presidency.
James Comey said his decision to announce that the FBI was going to look back into the Hillary Clinton email investigation just days before the election was influenced by his belief that she would beat Donald Trump and his desire to make sure that the election results were viewed as legitimate.
“I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump, and so I’m sure that it was a factor,” Comey told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview ahead of the April 17 release of his book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”
“I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been, that she’s going to be elected president and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out,” he added.
Apparently, Comey’s decision to make the October, 2016 announcement that the FBI investigation into the Hillary email scandal was made while Comey was “operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.”
Setting aside the fact that this “world” of his imagination also included other major decisions during the lead-up to the 2016 election, this admission reveals shocking hubris and partisanship.
Even the leftist media and Hillary supporters are outraged by this disturbing insight into Comey’s “justice by polling.”
Unbelievable. Justice by polling? https://t.co/daSIwrQHzz
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) April 13, 2018
the only thing more infuriating than Comey refusing to acknowledge his role in Trump's presidency is Comey acknowledging it and not giving a shit https://t.co/wOke3wxEgg
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) April 12, 2018
Needless to say, when I worked did Janet Reno, she never consulted polls before she made decisions on how to handle a criminal case. https://t.co/V7pyAhB8bg
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) April 13, 2018
The FBI should not be basing their decisions on what the latest polls say or on any partisan basis at all.
It’s hard to imagine someone completely impartial, particularly when that someone’s wife and daughters voted for Hillary and marched in the anti-Trump “women’s march,” but this revelation coupled with his detailed account of Hillary’s wrong-doing followed by the recommendation that she not be prosecuted paints a picture of a highly politicized FBI.
This is an astonishing admission. Justice Department guidelines bar officials from making important disclosures related to investigations close to elections to avoid influencing them. Comey took it upon himself to decide that, based on his concern that keeping the news confidential could call the legitimacy of a Clinton presidency into question, he had to announce that the investigation was being restarted. But that was not his decision to make; the role of the FBI is to investigate crimes, it is not to use its authority to protect or harm the legitimacy of a given politician.
A hypothetical Clinton administration’s legitimacy should not have been a factor in Comey’s decision whatsoever; Comey should only have been concerned with following the Justice Department’s guidelines, which exist to protect the integrity of the democratic process, and which Comey followed in the case of the Republican candidate.
Perhaps, Comey defenders might argue, the sensitivity of the Russia inquiry as a counter-intelligence investigation prevented him from disclosing anything about it. But the point isn’t that the Russia investigation should have been disclosed, but that the Clinton inquiry should not have been.
The fact that the Trump inquiry was kept under wraps while the Clinton inquiry was not simply accentuates the importance of the Justice Department rules against making such announcements close to an election—rules that Comey broke for one candidate but not for the other.
Comey’s admission also contrasts quite starkly with his own sworn testimony before Congress.
The Atlantic continues:
Comey’s admission that he believed Clinton would win is also dramatically at odds with Comey’s own sworn testimony before the Senate in May of 2017. “There was a great debate. I have a fabulous staff at all levels and one of my junior lawyers said, ‘Should you consider that what you’re about to do may help elect Donald Trump president?’” Comey said. “And I said, ‘Thank you for raising that, not for a moment because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent institution in America. I can’t consider for a second whose political fortunes will be affected in what way.’”
Now, Comey admits Clinton’s political fortunes were a factor in his decision, which means that by his own assessment, he personally put the FBI’s political independence at risk.
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