Comey Wins It For Trump
Earlier this week, Trump campaign officials were telling the political media that their remaining strategy was to discourage Clinton voters any way they could. Three days later, on this past Thursday, unnamed senior FBI officials apparently convinced Director James Comey that the Bureau needed to review emails found during their investigation of Anthony Weiner for their pertinence to their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices and use of a home server, for which Comey recommended no prosecution earlier this year.
The next day, without taking the matter up for review by the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, as is standard procedure before the Bureau inserts itself into an imminent political campaign and despite warnings from the Justice Department, Director Comey notified the GOP leaders of relevant congressional committees (with a copy to Democrats) that the Bureau was intending to review the emails found on Weiner and Huma Abedin’s home laptop, to see if they were actually significant to the Clinton investigation.
As expected, House GOP leaders immediately leaked news that Clinton was back under investigation, a lie, less than two weeks before the election, thereby helping Donald Trump’s strategy of driving down Clinton’s vote. For the record, at the time Comey notified the GOP leadership of the development, the Bureau hadn’t reviewed the emails and had no idea if they were new or simply duplicates of emails already evaluated during the Clinton inquiry.
It also turns out that at the time senior FBI officials convinced Comey on Thursday to notify the GOP leadership of the email find, they had no warrant to review any of those emails. And as of tonight, now two days into the new “scandal”, the Bureau still has no warrant to do anything with the emails. Yet Comey made sure to notify the GOP leadership with the news, assuredly ensuring that the news would be injected into the campaign, despite not going to the DOJ Public Integrity Section first and despite not knowing if a judge would authorize them to look at any of the emails.
Well done Director Comey, well done. You've ensured that you'll get a Christmas card from your new friends the Trumps.
Update, Sunday evening: Almost 72 hours after his subordinates leaked their find to GOP committee chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the FBI finally obtains a warrant to review Huma Abedin’s emails. No matter; the damage has been done. And yet no one is asking why FBI officials felt compelled to serve Jason Chaffetz and not send the matter to the prosecutors in the Public Integrity Section at DOJ.