Two top Republican senators are suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey colluded with Hillary Clinton while investigating the former Secretary of State’s use of a private email server for government business, and the related mishandling of classified information.
Former FBI Director James Comey broke long-standing Department of Justice protocol and became directly involved in deciding whether or not to charge then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Comey announced on July 5th, 2016 that the DOJ would not seek charges against the former Secretary of State. However, new evidence collected by top Republican senators, as reported by The Washington Times, reveals that James Comey made the decision not to charge Clinton in April 2016 – before he interviewed over a dozen key witnesses, including Clinton herself.
Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), have submitted a formal letter to FBI Director Chris Wray requesting more information related to the closure of the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation. After reviewing heavily redacted material from the time of the investigation, the senators concluded that Comey made the decision not the charge Hillary Clinton before interviewing 17 key witnesses.
The senators relied on interview transcripts from an earlier investigation by the Office of the Special Counsel to determine if Comey violated the Hatch Act while investigating Hillary Clinton. The Hatch Act bars government employees from using their position to support a political candidate. The investigation was closed after Comey was fired by President Trump in May 2017.
The investigation into Hillary Clinton displayed many abnormalities from the beginning. Comey violated Justice Department protocols by becoming directly involved in deciding whether to press charges against Clinton. Typically, the FBI Director would turn the results of an investigation over to the Attorney General, who would decide whether or not to press charges, and announce the decision publicly if required.
However, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch ceded her authority to Comey, and let the former FBI director take responsibility for the decision. In later Senate testimony, Comey confirmed that he usurped power from the Attorney General after Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton in the now infamous tarmac meeting.
Comey was concerned of the perception of conflict of interest, so he intervened on behalf of the Attorney General, and announced that the Justice Department would not recommend pressing charges.
Further, Comey testified under oath that he did not recommend pressing charges because, in his estimate, there was no evidence that Clinton intended to violate the law or mishandle classified information. However, an analysis by the National Review reveals that this standard was Comey’s own invention, and is not relevant to the accusations against Clinton.
Transcripts collected by Senators Graham and Grassley reveal that Comey was circulating a draft of his reasoning for not charging Clinton as early as April – three months before he would make the official announcement, and before the FBI interviewed 17 key witnesses.
New evidence is revealed about how and when Comey decided to NOT charge Hillary. Should this collusion be investigated?
“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation,” wrote the Senators in their email to Director Wray. “The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
This further exposes why Comey was a detriment to the investigation. There is no room for loyalties and bias in the pursuit of truth and justice.
The senators’ evidence is alarming. It also affirms that President Trump made the right decision in firing Comey. The action was one of many in the promise of “draining the swamp” repeated throughout the campaign.