Mainstream media scrambles to cast Hillary as an innocent victim of FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen the email case against her.
Andrew McCarthy at the National Review gets the story correct. McCarthy says Comey Is Not the One Whose Unorthodox Actions Are Casting a Cloud over the Election.
How rich of Hillary Clinton to complain now that FBI director James Comey is threatening the democratic process by commenting publicly about a criminal investigation on the eve of an election. Put aside that Comey did not say a single thing last week that implicates Clinton in a crime. The biggest coup for Clinton in the waning months of the campaign has been Comey’s decision not to prosecute her — a decision outside the responsibilities of the FBI director and publicly announced in a manner that contradicts law-enforcement protocols. There has been nothing more irregular, nothing that put law enforcement more in the service of politics, than that announcement. Yet, far from condemning it, Mrs. Clinton has worn it like a badge of honor since July. Indeed, she has contorted it into a wholesale exoneration, which it most certainly was not.
Just to remind those whose memories seem so conveniently to fail, Comey is the FBI director, not a Justice Department prosecutor, much less the attorney general. The FBI is not supposed to exercise prosecutorial discretion. The FBI is not supposed to decide whether the subject of a criminal investigation gets indicted. The FBI, moreover, is not obligated to make recommendations about prosecution at all; its recommendations, if it chooses to make them, are not binding on the Justice Department; and when it does make recommendations, it does so behind closed doors, not on the public record.
Yet, in the Clinton e-mails investigation, it was Comey who made the decision not to indict Clinton. Comey, furthermore, made the decision in the form of a public recommendation. In effect, it became The Decision because Attorney General Loretta Lynch had disgraced herself by furtively meeting with Mrs. Clinton’s husband a few days before Comey announced his recommendation. Comey, therefore, gave Mrs. Clinton a twofer: an unheard-of public proclamation that she should not be indicted by the head of the investigative agency; and a means of taking Lynch off the hook, which allowed the decision against prosecution to be portrayed as a careful weighing of evidence rather than a corrupt deal cooked up in the back of a plane parked on a remote tarmac. Now, suddenly, Mrs. Clinton is worried about law-enforcement interference in politics.
There is a very good argument — I would say, an irrefutable argument — that Comey should never have pronounced that the Clinton e-mails investigation was closed (in fact, it would have been appropriate if he had made no public statement about the investigation at all). But having made that pronouncement — which, again, Mrs. Clinton was thankful to have and which she has ceaselessly exploited — he was obliged by law-enforcement principles to amend it when it was no longer true.
The Clinton camp is in no position to cry foul about anything. In announcing his recommendation against indictment, Comey not only gave Clinton the benefit of every doubt (preposterously so when one reads the FBI’s reports). He also based his decision primarily on his legal analysis of a criminal statute, which is far removed from the responsibilities of the FBI.
As for the election, Mrs. Clinton is under the cloud of suspicion not because of Comey but because of her own egregious misconduct. She had no right to know back in July whether the investigation was closed. She has no right to know it now. Like any other criminal suspect, she simply has to wait . . . and wonder . . . and worry.
There were other worthy Democrats, but the party chose to nominate the subject of a criminal investigation. That is the Democrats’ own recklessness; Jim Comey is not to blame. And if the American people are foolish enough to elect an arrantly corrupt and compromised subject of a criminal investigation as our president, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
Reflections on Partisan Cheerleading
I do not play partisan cheerleading politics in these matters. Rather, I state my beliefs.
Hillary has only herself to blame.
Similarly, Donald Trump totally blew the first debate. I said so immediately following that debate. It took one hell of a partisan analysis to think the debate was anything but a total disaster. Yet, I received numerous emails telling me Trump won.
Had Trump not blown the first debate, or had Comey done what he should have done in the first place, this election would be over.
Meanwhile, the evidence against Hillary mounts.
One Swing State
Once again, and at the last minute, this election may come down to a one swing state differential.
The setup now is quite similar to the setup heading into the first debate. Trump needs all the must-win states plus one more. He cannot afford any mistakes now.
Realistically, I still have Hillary ahead if the election were held today. One week from now, that story may look different.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock