Former FBI Director James Comey is back in the spotlight as federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice open an inquiry into his apparent inability to stop leaking. Specifically, investigators are looking at whether Comey was the source of classified documents that found their way into the pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post in 2017. Left-leaning media outlets are already billing this as an investigation into “years-old” events, and the repeated use of such a phrase across supposedly separate news organizations suggests that a coordinated effort to downplay Comey’s actions is already in place.
Comey has already been let off for leaking documents previously. The DOJ declined to press charges over the director delivering memos detailing his private interactions with President Trump to a media machine desperate for dirt on the commander in chief. This latest investigation, however, may turn out to be far more damaging to the former lawman.
Of Dubious Origin
The investigation concerns a classified Russian document that was initially discovered on a Russian computer by Dutch investigators who handed the intel to the FBI. It detailed a conversation between Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who was at the time the Chair of the DNC, and Mr. Leonard Benardo, who worked for George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. The document described Schultz assuring Benardo that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch would make sure Hillary Clinton was not prosecuted in the infamous email probe.
The incriminating document was described by certain members of the press as “unreliable” and potentially a Russian fake. It also played a key role in Comey deciding that no “reasonable prosecutor” would file charges against Clinton for her actions. He also apparently had concerns that if the Russians were to leak the document, it would undermine the investigation’s appearance of impartiality.
This latest investigation centers on two news stories that cited “people familiar with its (the document’s) contents.” It is the supposition of the prosecutors that James Comey was the “familiar” person. Whether Comey provided the document to favored media outlets, or whether he simply commented on and confirmed its existence, is likely the key thread investigators will be pulling.
Comey’s previous leaking, described by the DOJ as setting a “dangerous example,” resulted in no criminal charges due to the documents only becoming classified after they had been passed on to the press by one Daniel Richman, who acted as a conduit for the former FBI boss. This latest case may prove far more difficult to sidestep.
When the same descriptive words are used over and over again, it is rarely a coincidence. The Hill, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Daily Beast, and many more are all using the term “years-old” to describe the leaks. Is this supposed to imply that it is outdated business and should be forgotten? Would they say the same of any other crime if it occurred less than three years ago?
This appears to be coordination of headlines and narrative between left-leaning news outlets in an attempt to downplay the severity of the investigation. Is it because they are willing to go to bat for an avowed enemy of the president, or is it because further digging may cast more light on Hillary Clinton being exonerated for her severe mishandling of classified data?
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, James Comey, for this time, it might just be tolling for thee.
Read more from Mark Angelides.
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