Many people on both sides of America’s political divide agree that former FBI Director James Comey mishandled the agency’s investigation of Hillary Clinton. The two sides may disagree on why, and how, Comey failed to properly handle the issue, but the fact that he failed in his duty is widely accepted.
New revelations from the Senate Judiciary Committee strongly suggest that, rather than simply falling short, Comey consciously decided to short-circuit the investigation. In essence, he interfered with his own investigation and determined its outcome even while his agents were still working the case.
It was Comey’s conduct during the investigation that led to the involvement of the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal agency. The OSC interviewed top FBI officials, including the former director’s own chief of staff, James Rybicki, and Trisha Anderson, who was a deputy general counsel of national security and cyber-law at the agency. In turn, the Senate Judiciary Committee obtained from the OSC redacted transcripts of those interviews. The transcripts reveal that at least two months before the Clinton investigation wrapped up, Comey had made the decision to exonerate Clinton and even drafted a letter to that effect. He circulated that letter to a select group of top FBI officials even before Clinton herself – and numerous other witnesses – had been interviewed by the Bureau. In doing so, Comey deliberately compromised the investigation.
Whether he did so through some personal loyalty to the woman who most people assumed would be the next president is unclear. Perhaps he already knew that regardless of anything uncovered by the investigation, Clinton would never face any charges. He may have simply decided that the sooner he exonerated Clinton, the better his future career prospects would be.
Trisha Anderson told the OSC that she believed Comey had decided in early May to publicly clear Clinton. The investigation continued for two more months. Rybicki said that, at around the same time, Comey was emailing certain people within the agency, exploring the best way to wrap up the investigation.
Conclusion First, Fact-Gathering Second
In a letter to the FBI, Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, both members of the Senate Judicial Committee, said “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second — that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
With the exception of the social-democratic faithful – the idolaters of Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama – everyone knew that the investigation of the former Secretary of State was a charade. It was, quite simply inconceivable that Obama’s FBI and, ultimately, Obama’s Attorney General, was going to announce that Clinton was guilty of any wrongdoing. When AG Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton had an intimate, off-camera meeting while the investigation was still in progress, the scale of shameless disregard for the whole process was put on full view.
Even with Comey gone, the Bureau continues to stall attempts to get to the bottom of what really happened. Recently, the agency rejected an FOI request for documents relating to Clinton’s emails, citing a lack of public interest. The Washington Times reports that a federal judge has ordered the Bureau to disclose details of its handling of the Clinton investigation.
From the start, this investigation was tainted by political loyalties. The FBI, under the stewardship of James Comey, has also been tainted by those same loyalties. It is not enough that Comey himself is no longer at the wheel; the entire senior echelon of the Bureau needs to be replaced, in order to remove an ideological bias that has no business within the nation’s senior law enforcement agency. The entire credibility of the FBI and, by extension, the Department of Justice depends upon it.