The Mystery of James Comey, the Forged Email, Loretta Lynch, and the 'Steely Silence'

One of the reasons James Comey gave for his rather bizarre performance art/press conference during the Clinton email investigation was that he was in possession of an email which indicated that there was collusion between the Clinton campaign and the office of the Attorney General:


The Russian document cited a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter. If true, the revelation of such an understanding would have undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation.

Current and former officials have said that Comey relied on the document in making his July decision to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over. That public announcement — in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence — set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.

Somewhat plausible, until you read the rest of the story:

But according to the FBI’s own assessment, the document was bad intelligence — and according to people familiar with its contents, possibly even a fake sent to confuse the bureau. The Americans mentioned in the Russian document insist they do not know each other, do not speak to each other and never had any conversations remotely like the ones described in the document. Investigators have long doubted its veracity, and by August the FBI had concluded it was unreliable.

Yep. The email used by Comey to justify his behavior was quite likely a Russian forgery. (At some point retelling FBI-gets-punked-by-Russia stories will get old but not right now.) Comey’s fellatistos responded with an incredible cock-and-bull story that essentially says, “Yeah, we knew the email was a forgery but the threat of James Comey leaking it that email being revealed was so great that we just ran with it like it was real.” I’m, honest to gosh, not making that up and I’m not making up the fact that there were people who believed it… or at least pretended to believe it because the alternative was to reveal Comey as a fraud.


Now the Comey hagiography has added yet another story:

In multiple private sessions over the last few months, Comey has told lawmakers about a second, later confrontation with Lynch shortly before the email probe was shut down.

Comey told lawmakers in the close door session that he raised his concern with the attorney general that she had created a conflict of interest by meeting with Clinton’s husband, the former President Bill Clinton, on an airport tarmac while the investigation was ongoing.

During the conversation, Comey told lawmakers he confronted Lynch with a highly sensitive piece of evidence, a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton.

Comey said “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office,” said one source who was briefed.

Comey “took that interaction and the fact she had met with Bill Clinton as enough reason to decide he would not allow the Justice Department to decide the fate of the case and instead would go public” with his own assessment that the FBI could not prove Mrs. Clinton intended to violate the law when she transmitted classified information through her private email and therefore should not be criminally charged. Another source said the “tarmac meeting was the public excuse for not going to Lynch when all along there was other evidence that was more concerning to Comey.”


Here the second story, the one with the omniscient Comey rather than the one with the poltroonish Comey, begins to fall apart. If you believe the second story then Comey confronted Lynch with an email that he knew was a forgery and presented it to her as though it was real and without any contextual “if I leak this this gets out…” This would be wildly disloyal, if not downright unethical behavior.

The more we learn of Comey’s behavior the less we see of the upright, honest lawman and the more we see of a man who is a self-serving bureaucrat constantly on the make to burnish his own reputation.


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