If we needed further proof that the voters made the right decision in deciding that Hillary Clinton would not sit in the Oval Office:
According to new transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Thursday afternoon, former FBI Director James Comey made the decision not to refer then Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before ever interviewing key witnesses. Members of the Committee allege Comey made the decision months before FBI agents were finished with the criminal investigation of her mishandling classified information during her time as Secretary of State.
The transcripts were revealed in a letter sent to current FBI Director Christopher Wray, in which lawmakers are demanding an explanation and more documents surrounding the case.
The Comey testimony was the best farce I have ever viewed on live television. My take:
- Comey came across as a cowardly lion, constantly trembling in fear of the White House.
- He admitted that Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General, told him to call the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton a “matter” rather than a criminal investigation and that this disturbed him greatly.
- That he leaked material which may expose him to criminal indictment. Comey stated that he did so in order to spur the appointment of a special prosecutor.
- That he was most outraged by the Trump administration stating the obvious truths that Comey had been a poor Director of the FBI and that the Bureau was in disarray under his leadership.
- He refused to state whether he thought that Trump was trying to obstruct the Russia investigation by asking him if the investigation of Mike Flynn could be dropped. If Comey did think that Trump was trying to obstruct an investigation he was required to immediately report it, and failure to do so would constitute a possible criminal offense.
- Comey confirmed that he told Trump on three occasions that he was not the subject of an investigation. He had no good explanation as to why he refused Trump’s request to announce this publicly.
- I kept imagining how J.Edgar Hoover would have handled this. I picture Hoover telling a President trying to pressure him that an FBI Director led an arduous life with many duties. That one of his duties was to restrain overzealous FBI agents gathering huge amounts of embarrassing material about lots of politicians, and that as Director he was continuously engaged in making sure such shocking material did not end up being revealed, ending careers and unduly alarming and disturbing the American people. Hoover was quite a few things, but a simpering, impotent non-entity like Comey, placed in a job well above his capacity, he never was.
Miss Me Yet?
This is going to cause a firestorm, although after the events of last year I don’t see how any President could trust Comey.
President Trump has fired FBI Director James B. Comey, who had been criticized by Democrats and Republicans since the presidential election.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in the briefing room Tuesday afternoon.
Comey was confirmed in 2013. He has been investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any potential collusion with the Trump campaign.
Hillary Clinton blamed his late disclosures of an investigation of her emails for her electoral loss
In a statement, the White House said that Trump had told Comey that he has been fired. No reason was provided. Continue Reading
FBI Director James Comey delivers a November surprise:
Dear Messrs. Chairmen:
I write to supplement my October 28, 2016 letter that notified you the FBI would be taking additional investigative steps with respect to former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.
Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.
I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.
James B. Comey
Impact? Hard to say. We are right on top of the election and normally a big event in an election needs a few days to seep into the public consciousness. Most people will probably hear about it tomorrow, and the number of people who haven’t made up their minds by this time how they are going to vote, if they are going to vote, is probably small. It is probably marginally good news for Clinton, but I doubt if will have much influence due to the lateness of this revelation and the fact that most people have probably reached a decision on Clinton, one way or another. Whoever is elected, Comey needs to go. Having Prince Hamlet as FBI Director is bad for the country.
FBI Director James Comey was grilled before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for four hours/ A few interesting revelations came out.
- Hillary Clinton’s interview was not recorded and she was not placed under oath. Not recording the interview was not unusual, the FBI relying on written section 302 reports based upon contemporaneous notes of the interview made by an FBI agent. Normally one FBI agent conducts an interview while a second agent writes out notes. Federal judges have often expressed skepticism as to the reliability of these reports. Congress should subpoena the 302 report of the Clinton interview.
- Comey revealed that he is no longer a registered Republican.
- Comey noted that if Clinton had worked for the FBI she could have been subject to a broad range of disciplinary measures, up to termination.
- Comey refused to confirm or deny that the FBI is investigating the Clinton Foundation.
This is devastating. From Reason TV a video contrasting Clinton’s version with the truth as explained by FBI Director Comey. Most politicians lie at one time or another. Few politicians lie all the time about matters small and great. Hillary Clinton is in the latter category. Comey, and I think deliberately, in his presentation handed Donald Trump a weapon to bring out this aspect of Clinton that only her most die hard partisans can possibly dispute.
That is the only conclusion one can draw from the presentation by the FBI Director today. The mishandling of the e-mails was a strict liability offense, no mens rea required. In other words no criminal intent need be shown in regard to Hillary Clinton which would make the prosecution much simpler. Former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online explains how Director Comey in effect rewrote the applicable criminal statute to get Hillary off the hook:
There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services. Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.
In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence. I would point out, moreover, that there are other statutes that criminalize unlawfully removing and transmitting highly classified information with intent to harm the United States. Being not guilty (and, indeed, not even accused) of Offense B does not absolve a person of guilt on Offense A, which she has committed.
I am in the law mines right now. I will have two reactions to this later: one legal and one political.
Remarks prepared for delivery at press briefing.
Good morning. I’m here to give you an update on the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.
After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.
This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.
I want to start by thanking the FBI employees who did remarkable work in this case. Once you have a better sense of how much we have done, you will understand why I am so grateful and proud of their efforts. Continue Reading