A lot of us were appalled when FBI Director James Comey read a litany of misfeasance and malfeasance on the part of Hillary Clinton in her handling of highly classified information and decided that, no matter how egregious and careless her conduct, no prosecution was possible. If you followed the case carefully you were stunned that the fact that Sid Blumenthal was sending Hillary Clinton information that was clearly classified provoked no curiosity. No one ever seemed to have the vaguest concern over how information that was transmitted by a stand-alone classified system housed in a SCIF could migrate to Clinton’s Blackberry. Clinton’s direction to Jake Sullivan to strip classified markings from documents and email them to her was met with a shrug. The whole private intelligence network of the now deceased Tyler Drumheller that seemed to be trading classified information purloined from other intelligence agencies to Clinton in exchange for other classified information was ignored. And let’s not even get into the “public corruption” investigation into the Clinton Foundation that was being throttled lifeless by senior FBI officials and has now apparently died.
Based on the work of Aaron Bandler at Daily Wire, it seems like Comey had decided well in advance of his declaration to not charge Clinton.
The lengthy report featured in The New Yorker portrays Comey as an individual who had a tragic fall from grace in his futile attempt to be the independent man in Washington, D.C. Buried in the piece is this explosive nugget (emphasis added):
As the inquiry neared its end, Comey, who had closely monitored it from the start, requested summaries of more than thirty government prosecutions involving mishandling of classified information. He waded through the records, seeking to understand the cases’ rationale and how they had been resolved. In the end, he agreed with the investigators’ unanimous conclusion: Clinton should not face criminal charges…
Comey had his own ideas. Unbeknownst to his Justice Department colleagues, Comey had resolved to proceed alone with the announcement. Since May, he had been holding a parallel series of meetings with top F.B.I. confidants to thrash through his plan. He would publicly announce—and explain—the Clinton decision without Lynch at his side. “We had discussions for months about what this looked like,” Michael Steinbach, who retired as the F.B.I.’s executive assistant director for national security in February, 2017, said. “This, for us, was the best course of action, given the political situation that we were in—for us to do it independently.”
As Comey saw it, according to Steinbach and others familiar with his thinking, the public doubted Lynch’s independence and would be less likely to accept the decision if she were involved in announcing it.
Keep in mind the FBI did not interview Clinton until July 2 and Comey made his infamous non-indictment indictment on July 5.
The reasoning given by this Steinbach guy is also interesting. Comey wanted the public to accept the whitewashing of the Clinton email scandal rather than insulate and protect the FBI from allegations that is was involved in tampering with the election.
This entire narrative points to a highly politicized investigative agency which consciously decided that Hillary was “too big to jail” and then set about trying to find a way to make that decision palatable to the public.
On the whole, I think we’re better off without Comey.
A former FBI agent writing in TIME magazine notes that Comey’s handling of the various issues in the 2016 election was lackadaisical and slipshod. Neither left nor right trusts Comey and because of that confidence in the FBI to conduct the Russia probe in a non-partisan manner is in doubt. As the probe, now in its 10th or 11th month, depending upon what you use as a start date, drags on and on and on, one has to wonder if Comey was even acting in good faith to try to close an investigation that is paralyzing the government or if he was reveling in the headlines and footlights.