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HomeEditorialsComey Had to Go: Let the FBI Restore Public Trust, Put Procedure Before Politics

Comey Had to Go: Let the FBI Restore Public Trust, Put Procedure Before Politics

FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

President Donald J. Trump fired James Comey after a review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded he mishandled the Clinton email investigation. President Donald Trump not only made the right decision in firing Mr. Comey, but one that was necessary to preserve public trust in the social contract.

Any reasonable president should have and, hopefully would have, done the exact same thing. Any reasonable and objective person with knowledge of the facts in this case would agree it was unquestionably the right decision for both public perception and professional reasons.

Professional and Procedural

In a memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ran down a litany of breaches in DOJ protocol during the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton mishandling classified information. The most basic of these is that the FBI isn’t even supposed to confirm or deny whether a probe is ongoing.

The first indicator to us that Mr. Comey was going to go somewhat rogue was when he told reporters last summer that the FBI was conducting a “security review” like Mrs. Clinton continuously claimed, it was a criminal investigation.

“I don’t even know what that means,” he said when asked about the term.

On July 5, 2016, Mr. Comey took it upon himself to exonerate Mrs. Clinton based solely on his own authority, which he never had. That should have been up to the attorney general, at the time Loretta Lynch, who had never recused herself even after meeting secretly with the husband (Bill) of the target of the investigation.

“It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement,” Mr. Rosenstein wrote. “The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.”

Mr. Rosenstein said at his press appearance Mr. Comey “laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.”

That unprecedented event was followed by another 11 days before the election, which some Democrats and Mrs. Clinton’s herself blamed for her loss. In a letter, Mr. Comey told Congress he had reopened the investigation after finding emails that turned out to contain classified information on Anthony Weiner’s laptop (another crime).

We have shown over and over that the data disproves the “Comey effect” excuse, but it understandably angered a large percentage of the American public. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and now leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said they lost faith in the director and the former said he should resign.

Last week, Mr. Comey dropped more innuendo about the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia in testimony to Congress, while also exaggerating the new evidence that led his agents to reopen the Clinton file. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice called it “selective disclosure disorder.”

“I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong,” Mr. Rosenstein put it in his memo. “As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”

Public Perception

Democrats and their corporate media monopoly want the American people to believe President Trump fired Mr. Comey to cover up the findings of an investigation that doesn’t exist that could reveal potential crimes that there is no evidence to support.

Most polling shows the majority of the American public does not believe President Trump or close members of his campaign “colluded” with Russian officials to influence the election. Former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, who headed a probe for Barack Obama into the matter, has now twice testified before congressional committees to the fact no such evidence exists.

Mr. Comey has three times told the President he isn’t even the target of what is a counter-intelligence investigation–not a criminal investigation–which we heard before reading it in the firing letter. We also know Mr. Comey twice told Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in private briefings that the FBI found no evidence warranting such a criminal investigation.

But that hasn’t stopped the media and their incessant drum beat to the crazy cadence of treason. Yet, they still have not convinced a majority of Americans that their narrative is valid.

Majorities still believe Mr. Comey should have prosecuted Mrs. Clinton, who they see as getting away with committing felonies because of her last name. Putting aside the phony standard of intent, we agree with Americans’ views. Frankly, we cannot fathom how anyone with any intellect whatsoever paired with the knowledge of the facts of this case could disagree.

Two of the members of this editorial board have personally held top secret security clearances. There is no doubt in our minds that we would be wearing orange jumpsuits and our return addresses would read U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth had we mishandled classified information with such “extreme carelessness.”

Mr. Comey’s actions have been helping to fuel an already justified belief that there are two different scales of justice in America–one that hands out get-out-of-jail free cards to the rich and powerful, and one that punishes the rest of us to the fullest extent of the law.

Worse still, a majority (52%) want the Clintons investigated for their ties to Russia given the uranium deal.

The American social contract is a unique, historically beautiful and fragile design. It was already dangerously close to breaking before Mr. Comey mishandled the Clinton case. We can ill afford to just pray someone like Mr. Comey doesn’t step on the glass trying to move forward.

The FBI was and remains the finest law enforcement and investigative agency in the history of the world. But under his leadership it has been tainted and compromised. He lost the trust of the public, the agents and politicians, making it impossible for him to “effectively lead the Bureau” back to their prior stature.

Written by

The Editorial Board at People's Pundit Daily (PPD) debates and publishes opinion editorials, and conducts interviews with political candidates to issue endorsements in U.S. elections. The Board at PPD is made up of three permanent members--including Rich Baris, the People's Pundit, himself--and two temporary members.

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