Flashback: Washington Post editorial blasts Republicans for attacking FBI Director Comey
posted at 8:31 pm on October 29, 2016 by John Sexton
In the last 36 hours FBI Director James Comey has been slammed by the full force of the progressive left media. I noted yesterday that, within hours of the letter being released, NY Times columnist Paul Krugman was accusing Comey of trying to swing the election for Republicans or, at a minimum, of trying to preserve their control of congress. A Democratic PAC filed a complaint with the DOJ that Comey had violated the Hatch Act by publishing the letter. A CNN legal analyst wrote today that it was time for Comey to resign.
As the Hill points out, elected Democrats are scolding Comey too. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “One thing is clear: Director Comey’s announcement played right into the political campaign of Donald Trump, who is already using the letter for political purposes. And all of this just 11 days before the election.” She’s not saying that was intentional but she’s certainly leaving it open to interpretation that maybe that’s the case. Elijah Cummings expressed his disapproval saying, “Frankly, I was surprised that the FBI sent this letter given how obvious it was that Republicans would immediately misconstrue and mischaracterize it.” Again, why is Comey acting to help Republicans?
With all the accusations flying, I thought it was a good moment to recall a Washington Post editorial from back in July. That was when Comey announced he would not bring charges against Clinton. In an editorial titled “Republicans attack Mr. Comey for doing his job” the Post rebuked the right for for questioning Comey’s decision making:
IF REPUBLICANS believe the FBI director is corrupt and political, they should have the gumption to say so. Instead, many have insulted James B. Comey with slimy implications and underhanded threats since Tuesday, when he announced that he would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton relating to her use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Republican leaders had practically promised supporters that Ms. Clinton would be indicted. Instead, Mr. Comey denounced Ms. Clinton’s judgment but explained that the facts of the case did not conform to the fevered partisan fantasies that have developed around them — did not, in other words, merit prosecution. So GOP leaders decided to attack the fact-finder…
“It appears damage is being done to the rule of law,” Mr. Ryan said. He’s right, but the FBI director isn’t doing the damage. The wreckers are those who cast baseless aspersions on U.S. law enforcement in the service of their partisan goals.
Naturally, the Post is not issuing a similar condemnation of progressives who are attacking Comey’s character and his decision-making or even in some cases directly saying he’s trying to swing the election for Trump. It has been quite a reversal of feelings from the left. Politico reminds us just how warm and fuzzy Democrats were toward Comey in July:
“I don’t know whether your family’s watching this, but I hope that they are as proud of you as I am, because you are the epitome of what a public servant is all about. Sacrificing over and over and over again, trying to do the right thing, sometimes coming under ridicule, but again still doing the right thing,” Cummings said.
Similarly, after Comey announced that he would not call for Clinton to be prosecuted over the secret email server in July, Feinstein praised the director for coming to the “proper” conclusion.
A few months ago, criticizing Comey was risking damage to the rule of law. Now that it might be Hillary’s ox getting gored, bashing Comey is just fair game.