Republicans didn’t just disagree with Comey’s decision, or demand new investigations, which is their right. They alleged that the justice system is rigged and corrupt. This doesn’t hurt Comey or even Clinton as much as it undermines a building block of civilized society: the rule of law.
Until now, nobody questioned the probity of Comey, a longtime prosecutor and former No. 2 official in George W. Bush’s Justice Department. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) had said “his integrity is unequaled.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the oversight panel, had said he and his Republican colleagues would “probably” accept his recommendation because “in all of government, he is a man of integrity and honesty.”
But now Ryan is saying Clinton got preferential treatment, Chaffetz says Comey made a “political calculation,” and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump alleges the attorney general was bribed. Others call the FBI “steeped in political bias” or raise “serious concerns about the integrity” of Comey’s decision.
Republicans could simply accept the political gift Comey presented them. He said Thursday that Clinton met the very “definition of negligent” in her mishandling of classified information. And he portrayed her as a Luddite who lacks basic familiarity with the treatment of classified material and didn’t even have a computer in her office.