A recent letter submitted by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) alleges that former FBI Director James Comey decided not to press charges against Hillary Clinton before concluding his investigation.
The Department of Justice drafted a series of memos explaining why James Comey was an unfit leader of the FBI. The memos cited his mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, and his usurping the Attorney General’s authority in announcing the end of the investigation. However, a source inside the White House explain that Comey was also fired, in part, because he refused to admit that President Trump was not under investigation, according to The Daily Caller.
The first few months of President Trump’s term were plagued by allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to get a leg up on Hillary Clinton during his presidential campaign. Critics argued that numerous sources close to President Trump and the Trump campaign had undisclosed ties to Russia. Additionally, the hack of the Democratic National Committee, supposedly conducted by Russian agents, was allegedly orchestrated to help Donald Trump secure the election.
According to a source in the White House, top officials in the Trump administration were becoming increasingly frustrated that then-FBI Director James Comey would not publicly admit that there were no ties between President Trump and the Russian government. James Comey wouldn’t confirm that there were no ties, the source said, despite Comey’s private assurances to President Trump.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation,” President Trump wrote, when announcing Comey’s dismissal, “I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
However, in light of the allegations made by Senators Grassley and Graham, it appears that Comey’s refusal to exonerate President Trump was a partisan concern.
According to longstanding Justice Department protocol, it is inappropriate for the Director of the FBI to discuss ongoing investigations publicly. Comey spectacularly violated this protocol when on July 5th, 2016, he admitted that the investigation into Hillary Clinton would be closed without bringing charges.
According to Department of Justice’s rules, the Director of the FBI does not have the authority to decide whether or not to prosecute a case. The duty of the FBI director is to investigate a case and present any evidence to the Attorney General. It is then the Attorney General’s decision as to whether or not a charge is brought forth.
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Comey’s error in publicly announcing the close of the Clinton investigation created a predicament that ultimately led to his dismissal. James Comey’s decision to admit publicly that Hillary Clinton was not under investigation, while refusing to do the same for President Trump, undermines the nonpartisan mission of the FBI.
The allegations lobbied by Senators Graham and Grassley insinuate that James Comey was acting with partisan interests from the beginning, and was attempting to protect Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her own actions.