To the absolute surprise of no one, the James Comey FBI has come to the conclusion that there was nothing new on the email that was found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Most of the 650,000 email messages were duplicates and the ones that weren’t had no value whatsoever to any of the investigations — Clinton or Weiner. It was the very definition of a nothing-burger.
But what did happen was Clinton was smeared by the media for a week and a half. It went absolutely ballistic. Email! Email!
There are three important things about James Comey’s “update” letter. First, he had no reason to send it. Second, he knew the Republicans would leak it immediately. And third, doing so was a possible violation of the Hatch Act. The reason that the FBI keeps its trap shut on investigations like this one is because it is prejudicial. “Oh, this person is bad! Why else would the FBI investigate them?!”
So why did Comey write the letter? Was it to help Trump? No, actually.
So why did he do it? Two main theories have emerged and I think both have a lot of validity.
Reason One: Comey Was Protecting the FBI
First, there is a small subset of FBI agents who are friendly with the Trump campaign. Some of them have been investigating the Clintons on and off since the 1990s. They are suffering from the sunk cost fallacy. They’ve spent so much time investigating, they feel like they have to find something. All that work can’t be for nothing!
So you have people who are very unhappy that they haven’t nailed someone like Clinton. And they want to get them on anything even though there is nothing there.
Whenever the Clintons decide to run for office, they know there will be a deep investigations into literally everything they do. After all, this is a pair that faced a Congress doing 140 hours of sworn testimony into their Christmas Card mailing list. So they are super careful about everything they do. Yet the FBI agents in New York think if they just keep digging, they will catch the Clintons doing something that is illegal. It’s been almost 25 years and: zip!
In this theory, Comey was afraid that these agents would start leaking information and saying that the FBI was covering up for Clinton. So he wrote the letter to say, “We have information and we are looking into it.” That doesn’t explain why he wasn’t clearer that they knew nothing. But the impulse is at least understandable, even though the execution was horrible. That’s the best you can say about Comey.
Reason Two: Comey Was Worried About a Landslide Down-Ballot
The second reason is the fact that until the letter was released, the Republicans were facing a catastrophic wave election that probably would have destroyed their chances for years to come at the national level. James Comey isn’t overly partisan, but he is definitely partisan enough to want to keep the House in Republicans hands. That’s especially true since they have been promising to keep chasing after Clinton if she takes over the White House. What would they investigate her on? They don’t care. If she makes even one mistake (and she will, she is human) they will devote thousands of hours and millions of dollars to investigating everything about it.
Most likely, both of these things factored into Comey’s actions.
What is enormously frustrating to me is that the media will just blindly go along with this. Which is why yesterday when SNL did their cold open, they pointed out the utter lack of caring over the enormous amount of horribleness that the Orange One indulges in.
Yesterday, Al Franken said that the Senate will be hauling Comey in front of them and demanding to know why he was willing to be so political with one candidate and not the other. The same New York FBI office chasing its tail about Clinton is the one that claimed that there is nothing to see in Trump’s Russian ties despite plenty of other reports contradicting them.
This is disgusting. This is terrifying. Regardless of what happened, this is the top United States law enforcement official tipping the scales for his own reasons. And it is unacceptable.
The good news is that I am not the only one angry and disgusted by this. There are a lot of outraged people.
It is why so many people are voting early and why the numbers have shot up to the point that Sunday there were 4,000 people in line to vote in Cincinnati. Saturday, hundreds if not thousands of people showed up at a marketplace in Nevada for the final day of early voting. Hell even laboring women are making sure they vote before they deliver.
To quote one of my top hashtags on Twitter, “Hey Comey #expectus asshole. And resign.”