With Every Draft of Comey’s Hillary Speech, the Language Weakened

In a letter to the FBI sent by Sen. Ron Johnson of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, it is revealed that former FBI Director James Comey went through multiple drafts of his final statement on the Hillary Clinton case in 2016. And in each subsequent edit, the language the director used to describe the case got weaker and weaker in ways that seemed specifically designed to put the facts of Clinton’s crimes outside the realm of prosecution.

Since Comey was still getting at precisely the same general point in each successive draft, the edits seem to indicate that various synonyms were chosen for no other reason than to avoid mentioning the many federal laws that Clinton and her team broke while at the State Department.

Fox News details the evolving memo:

In an early draft, Comey said it was “reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account. That was changed later to say the scenario was merely “possible.”

Another edit showed language was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her colleagues as “extremely careless” as opposed to “grossly negligent.” This is a key legal distinction.

The edits also showed that references to specific potential violations of statutes on “gross negligence” regarding classified information and “misdemeanor handling” were removed.

The final statement also removed a reference to the “sheer volume” of classified information discussed on email.

Johnson was alarmed by the script and said so in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” Johnson wrote. “The edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions.”

A good explanation for this evolving statement – begun months before the FBI completed its investigation – has yet to be offered by Comey or anyone else in the Department of Justice. And as disturbing as this was a couple of weeks ago, it is even moreso given what we’ve learned recently. The anti-Trump text messages generated by an FBI official central to the Clinton investigation, the corrupt link between a top DOJ lawyer and the hacks responsible for the Trump dossier – these are warning signs of bias that would have the Democrats in a frenzy if the shoe were on the other foot. They cannot be ignored and their impact on both the Clinton investigation and the Trump/Russia investigation MUST be taken into consideration.

We say: Scrap them both and start fresh.


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