Former FBI official: Comey refused to formally accuse Russia of meddling in the election because … he didn’t want to meddle in the election

posted at 10:01 pm on October 31, 2016 by Allahpundit

It’s the smoking gun that proves Comey’s trying to help Trump win the election by suppressing news that might hurt him while releasing news about Clinton that helps him!

Or, alternately, it’s a single anonymous source talking out of his ass to make Comey look bad because the source wants Clinton to win the election. You make the call.

FBI Director James Comey argued privately that it was too close to Election Day for the United States government to name Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and ultimately ensured that the FBI’s name was not on the document that the U.S. government put out, a former FBI official tells CNBC.

The official said some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday…

According to the former official, Comey agreed with the conclusion the intelligence community came to: “A foreign power was trying to undermine the election. He believed it to be true, but was against putting it out before the election.” Comey’s position, this official said, was “if it is said, it shouldn’t come from the FBI, which as you’ll recall it did not.”

Assume it’s true. Comey knew the accusation against Russia was coming out anyway but he didn’t want the Bureau’s signature on the press release. Could it be that he was sensitive to perceptions that the FBI was meddling in the election because he’d … already essentially meddled in the election months earlier on Hillary Clinton’s behalf? This is the piece of the puzzle that liberals keep leaving out of their theories over the last 48 hours. Why would a guy who let Hillary skate on felony national-security charges months ago decide to try to tilt the election to Trump at the last minute? Comey would have been perfectly within his rights to recommend indictment in July. The statute, 18 U.S.C. 793, requires nothing more than gross negligence in mishandling classified information. He acknowledged in his press conference at the time that Clinton and her staff had been “extremely careless.” He refused to charge, he said, because traditionally offenders aren’t prosecuted unless they’ve mishandled classified information intentionally. But there’s no reason to adhere to a high standard of mens rea in a case as significant as this when the statute doesn’t require it. Clinton was a cabinet officer. In a better world the gravity of a cabinet officer showing half-assed oversight of state secrets would be prosecuted aggressively to make an example of her, to show the rest of the federal bureaucracy how important proper care is in guarding classified material. But he gave her a pass. And now, supposedly, he’s in the tank for Trump. Huh?

The left has spent two days howling that the FBI isn’t supposed to comment publicly on investigations that haven’t resulted in charges being filed, whether now with the new material found on Huma Abedin’s computer or back in July after the initial email review. Normally that’s true: The feds shouldn’t draw unnecessary public attention to a case in which the suspect hasn’t done anything wrong. But the wrinkle in Comey’s July statement was that he thought she had done something wrong. When the federal government chooses not to charge a high public official who, in their judgment, has violated the letter of the law, that should warrant some sort of explanation. So Comey explained. Now, with the new cache of material found on Abedin’s computer, there’s a chance that investigators will turn up something new that proves Clinton was even more brazen in mishandling classified info than the FBI thought. She may be elected president next week thanks in part to Comey having given her a clean-ish bill of legal health in July — and if she is, and something turns up in the review of Abedin’s computer, the Bureau will then face the nightmare scenario of having to decide whether to recommend charges against a president-elect. All of this stems from Comey’s original decision not to charge, so he’s doing what little he can now to alert the country that there’s at least a possibility that he was wrong. Does the left really believe, given the crisis of public trust in institutions, that Comey should have said nothing in July despite the fact that he believed she had broken the law through her gross negligence? Can you imagine if that news had leaked this week a la the Russian tidbit quoted above, that Obama’s FBI chief refused to recommend indictment of the Democratic nominee despite his belief that probable cause existed? Here’s an idea for liberals: If you don’t want the FBI involved in elections, don’t nominate someone in the first place who’s under investigation by the FBI.

Oh well. This is what Comey gets for not recommending charges against her when he had the chance. That’s the grand irony of all this — the real reason he let Clinton off the hook in July, I assume, was because he didn’t want his agency to be perceived as intervening dramatically in the outcome of the election. If the DOJ had indicted Hillary, Democrats might well have removed her as nominee and then we’d be in uncharted territory politically, with a major party forced to override the results of its primary and choose a candidate for president on the fly. Comey gave her a pass precisely because he wanted to avoid accusations that the Bureau meddled with the country’s choice for president. This is his reward.


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