FBI Director James Comey ‘Crossed the Rubicon’ this week when he cast his dice with the Republican party by releasing a partisan memo with election implications.
He’s facing an internal revolt over the affair at the FBI, for undoing decades of non-partisan law enforcement practices.
Two serious criminal complaints have already been levied against the FBI Director by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump for using the FBI to engage in partisan activity and now by former White House Ethics Counsel Richard Painter too.
Sources inside the FBI told Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald that they were furious with Director Comey’s rare public revelations from the Clinton investigation from the start this summer.
They’re not the only ones upset.
High ranking Department of Justice officials strongly discouraged Comey from going public just 11 days before a general election, without holding a smoking gun or really any strong evidence of anyone’s wrongdoing in hand.
The FBI Director broke policy to inform Congress about details of an investigation without any actual details, which is already being used for partisan purposes.
Director Comey followed up his first memo to Congress with a “cover your ass” memo to his fellow FBI officers which appeared in The Washington Post.
The impact within the FBI has been swift after the first memo.
Newsweek is reporting that the Republican FBI Director’s inappropriate letter to Congress put him in a very danger of a “mutiny at the FBI,” whose proper role is protecting America from domestic terror threats and investigating serious crimes.
Not influencing elections.
In the FBI Director’s second letter, he admitted that his agency doesn’t “ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations,” and that he doesn’t know anything about, “the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails.”
He also claimed that, “I don’t want to create a misleading impression,” and Comey then made a final admission that, “in the middle of an election season, there is a signficant risk of being misunderstood.”
Well, it’s too late now.
Here’s a copy of the letter:
Newsweek’s report about this latest non-scandal points out firmly that the FBI Director’s letter literally points out emails that have nothing to do with the Democratic nominee:
The disclosure by the Federal Bureau of Investigation late on Friday, October 28 that it had discovered potential new evidence in its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s handling of her personal email when she was Secretary of State has virtually nothing to do with any actions taken by the Democratic nominee, according to government records and an official with knowledge of the investigation, who spoke to Newsweek on condition of anonymity. The revelation that the FBI has discovered additional emails convulsed the political world, and led to widespread (and erroneous) claims and speculation.
Moreover, despite the widespread claims in the media that this development had prompted the FBI to “reopen” of the case, it did not;
Comey’s decision to leak news about a politically driven investigation is threatening his professional standing and ability to function inside the Bureau.
Newsweek’s top investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald told the story in a tweetstorm:
The FBI has a difficult job to perform in the best of times, and when it comes to political investigations agents must walk a tightrope between performing their duties properly, and unduly influencing public opinion with the results of their investigations.
For an entire year, they managed to quietly, but diligently investigate the sensitive matters surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails which they ultimately concluded, “were not a cliff-hanger” because there was literally no there, there.
These events show precisely why the FBI does not ordinarily publicly release the results or targets of their investigations until charges are filed.
These memos have set off a chain off events sure to end with the termination of Comey’s tenure as head of the agency.