President Trump said on Twitter that former FBI Director James Comey failed to properly execute his duties when investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in 2016.
“Wow, FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete,” Trump wrote Wednesday morning. “Many people not interviewed, including Hillary Clinton herself. Comey stated under oath that he didn’t do this – obviously a fix? Where is Justice Dept?”
He followed that up with a tweet suggesting that without James Comey, who Clinton blames for costing her the election, the former secretary of state would have faced prosecution.
“As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton,” Trump wrote. “He was the best thing that ever happened to her!”
Trump was inspired to speak out after the Bureau released documents that prove Comey had begun drafting the famous speech explaining why Clinton would not be charged months in advance. In fact, as Trump said, he began writing the announcement long before agents ever had the chance to interview the then-Democratic candidate for president. This has led many to wonder if the FBI was truly taking the investigation seriously or whether the political fix was in from the beginning of the inquiry.
In a statement first revealing that Comey had drafted the speech well in advance of the investigation’s conclusion, GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham said it set a disturbing precedent.
“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second – that’s no way to run an investigation,” they wrote earlier this year. “The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
In their writeup of the controversy, the Washington Post (naturally) let their readers know that Comey had done nothing wrong. Nothing at all!
Republicans have seized on the internal FBI emails as evidence that Comey and FBI leadership made a premature decision to not pursue criminal charges, because they discussed how they would explain not charging her before they’d interviewed her. Law enforcement officials have said that is a misreading of how investigations typically work — that an interview with a principal like Clinton is in many cases the last investigative step, after agents have established many or most of the facts in a case.
Okay, that’s fine and well, but even if an interview with the principal subject is the last part of an investigation, it’s STILL PART OF THE INVESTIGATION, no? If not, then why bother conducting the interview? It’s incumbent on law enforcement officials to reserve their final conclusions until after all the facts are in, and that’s not possible when there are still major interviews that have yet to be conducted. Comey has already said on the record, in not so many words, that he felt pressured by his bosses at the DOJ to come to a specific conclusion on this matter, and it appears he was buckling to that pressure months before the case came to a close.
The American people have a right to know that this investigation was not colored by Hillary Clinton’s status as the Democratic nominee for president. It’s up to the FBI and the Justice Department to now prove that it wasn’t…or re-open the investigation so it can finally be done right.