The Federal Official in Need of a Special Prosecutor: James Comey

The Federal Official in Need of a Special Prosecutor: James Comey

Photo from House Judiciary Committee.

Photo from House Judiciary Committee.

When news of FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress broke on Friday announcing that the FBI has found emails that may or may not be related to their long-concluded Hillary Clinton witchhunt, I mean, investigation, I was willing to cut him some slack. Sure, it would look bad and political, but if Comey had suddenly discovered previously uncovered related evidence in a case this sensitive and he hadn't told Congress, he may have been accused post-election of putting his thumb on the scale the other way.

Still, there were other ways to inform Congress of something he believed to be material in an investigation without causing a public spectacle. He could have requested a classified briefing with the heads of the relevant Congressional committees and the DOJ. He could have just written a classified letter to Congress. Or he could have, you know, used the considerable resources at his command to actually read the damned emails and decided if they in fact are pertinent.

Because it's not as though the emails happened to spring upon the FBI in the last week of October. The FBI had known for weeks about these emails, and they made no attempts to evens secure a warrant to read them until yesterday.

Now, before the anti-Clinton forces point to reports that although FBI officials had known about the emails for weeks, Director Comey was only briefed on it last week, allow me to suggest that there's another thing Comey could have done in place of dropping a letter to Congress with no specifics and all innuendo: fired the people at the FBI responsible for sitting on what he considers to be such a sensitive matter.

Also, it is not as though Director Comey is doing this out of an abundance of interest towards transparency in FBI investigations. Comey has been sitting on serious evidence connecting Donald Trump's presidential campaign to the Russian government, even as he released this letter on Clinton pointing to emails the FBI may already have read before their investigation on Clinton's email servers were concluded. And on this very matter, Comey has kept  us in the dark on the details despite repeated calls by the Clinton campaign and Hillary Clinton herself to release more details. There is only one plausible conclusion to be reached: James Comey is purposely attempting to influence a federal election, in serious apparent violation of federal law.

Despite the media's portrayal, the condemnation of Comey's actions as political are not just coming from Democrats. In addition to former Attorney General Holder who served under President Obama, Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez also slammed Comey's political gamesmanship, and the Chief White House Ethics lawyer in the Bush administration from 2005 to 2007 wrote that Director Comey's actions likely violate the Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act, also referred to by Sen. Harry Reid in his letter to Dir. Comey, is established federal law that prohibits federal career employees for using their positions to influence federal elections. And although the Hatch Act is not a criminal statute, it is a serious protection for our democratic process, and it is enforced by the Office of Special Counsel.

Sounds to me like it's time to appoint a special counsel to investigate Dir. Comey under the Hatch Act.



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