The consensus is clear, and it is unrelenting: FBI Director James Comey badly, badly screwed up this time.
From Trump-backing alt-right conservatives, to Hillary-backing liberals. From independent experts, to legal analysts. From Members of Congress on the left and Members of Congress leading the Tea Party. From talk shows on the left, to talk show hosts on the right. From a Republican Attorney General, to a Democratic Attorney General, and even to the Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate, there is near unanimity.
James Comey had no business writing to Congress, without any real information, regarding a candidate for president, so close to the election.
It isn’t like Comey didn’t know he was blowing up the race. He told his staff as much. And, now we find out that just weeks ago, Comey steadfastly refused to peg Russia for trying to influence the election through the DNC hacks. Not because he didn’t think they were. In fact, he thought that’s what they were up to. But he told people he did not want to insert the FBI into the presidential race so close to the election.
There are as many theories as to why Comey wrote Congress, as I have fingers on my hand. Just some of the excuses include him feeling unliked within the walls of the FBI, feeling pressure from Donald Trump calling him part of a rigged system, to worries of a leak of the presence of emails of some kind found on Anthony Weiner’s computer.
Did Comey do it to change the election? I have a tough time believing he is that devious, but that hasn’t stopped some from calling his move J. Edgar Hoover-eque.
Whatever the reasons, it is now abundantly clear that Comey has made the situation worse, and has dropped a grenade on the race, with little-to-no information, leaving America’s still-undecided voters to depend on media leaks to make up their minds.
Is the situation irreparable? Very possibly.
But, James Comey needs to do the only thing that can possibly fix it: Get out there, and apologize. Now.
Apologize to the country for putting unanswerable questions into the minds of voters.
Apologize to Hillary Clinton for putting out a story dripping with innuendo about her place in the story.
Apologize to the Department of Justice for going against their well-established policy of not getting involved in elections.
Apologize to his agents for hurting the image of the Department.
And mostly, apologize to Huma Abedin for dragging issues regarding her marriage to Anthony Weiner back into the media spotlight, without any good reason, at this time.
Yes, by all means, continue searching the emails, and let Americans know when you have reached firm conclusions.
But, today, right now, Director Comey, if you care about this nation, its system of fair and impartial justice, and its bedrock of elections, both free and fair, apologize.