October 28th 2016 is a day that will live in political infamy.
Just 11 days before the hotly contested general election took place, and with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the drivers seat to snatch the Presidency, James Comey dropped one of the biggest political bombshells in recent memory.
He forwarded a letter to Congress that indicated the FBI was considering reopening it’s email investigation into Hillary Clinton, the development shook the entire electorate to it’s core, it was a devastating occurrence for the Clinton campaign.
America’s last impression of Clinton before the election was this oddly timed announcement by James Comey.
To be fair to the director, he did not hold a press conference, or grandstand, he simply forwarded a letter to a congressional committee.
But the timing was worrisome, why would the director of the FBI reveal such damaging information about the frontrunner to win the Presidency less than 2 weeks before the election?
In retrospect, would it have really made a difference to wait until America voted?
Many saw the revelation as an underhanded attempt to sway the election, there didn’t appear to be a reason for Director Comey to release such explosive information, especially since he didn’t really specify how the probe was progressing.
President Trump’s campaign pounced on the information, and most likely convinced moderates to vote for the President, that silent majority that won Trump the Presidency gained reinforcements on October 26th.
Which leads us back to James Comey.
People have called for his job, they accused him of violating the obscure Hatch Act.
It was also revealed that Comey broke with than attorney general Loretta Lynch, and the Justice Department when he sent the letter, his decision was a unilateral act that was not rubber stamped by his colleagues.
FBI Director James Comey explains his reason for notifying Congress of new investigation days before 2016 election https://t.co/S0VIAvn8g0
— CNN (@CNN) May 3, 2017
As one could imagine, Mr. Comey had some explaning to do when he was summoned to capitol hill to explain the entire fiasco earlier today.
His explanation is a rational one, he fails to explain why he could not have just waited until after the election, but he was presented with two choices.
Inform Congress, or don’t inform Congress, both were damaging decisions, and the director made the decision he could live with.
After obtaining Anthony Weiner’s laptop in an unrelated investigation, Director Comey’s subordinates presented him with thousands of emails belonging to Hillary Clinton that had been extracted from the Meta data, and they informed Comey they would need time to review it.
They suspected it could be the thousands of emails that were missing from the first 3 months of her stint as Secretary of State.
The crew worked day and night while Comey weighed the biggest decision of his career, and it would have been risky to not inform Congress, that would call into question the moral fiber of the FBI director, and he could be accused of attempting to protect Hillary Clinton because of the election being right around the corner.
A rock and a hard place the Director of the FBI was in, and he opted for disclosure.
Comey and his agents discovered this information accidently, they were not looking for it, this was not some vendetta, this was the FBI responding to potential leads in a criminal case that had gone cold.
— CNN (@CNN) May 3, 2017
Hillary Clinton meanwhile does not subscribe to such a school of thought, she is convinced that Comey’s actions were unethical, and agenda driven.
She believes he cost her the election.
But she has not walked 5 miles in his shoes, the decision that Comey was faced with would be a difficult proposition for anyone.
Comey cannot act in the interest of party politics, and his letter was proof that he is doing his job.
Was it the right decision?
Mabye not, but in this case, there was no right decision.