FBI Director James Comey held a press conference on Tuesday morning, July 5, 2016, to reveal publicly what had become of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and computer server during her term in the office of Secretary of State. Criminal charges are not forthcoming from the investigation, but Clinton was characterized as being “extremely careless” in her handling of classified communications in ways that violated federal statutes. It is also clear that Clinton’s accounts of her own conduct on the matter are untruthful. MSNBC’s Morning Joe has a clip highlighting excerpts from Comey’s speech juxtaposed with excerpts of Clinton’s false narrative of her handling of classified information via email and computer devices. This clip is less than 2 minutes in length:
James Comey has a “straight shooter” reputation. He has heretofore been considered highly ethical by politicians of both major political parties. Some are now second-guessing his ethics, for liberal politicians are complaining that he overstepped by sharing investigation results when he shouldn’t have, for no criminal charges are forthcoming, while conservative politicians are complaining that Comey has overstepped by precluding the bringing of criminal charges by “reasonable” prosecutors.
I appreciate that Comey was forthcoming.
This CNN article points out that Comey’s press conference was not what the US Department of Justice had planned for Clinton’s “exoneration.”
As an aside, I have been severely disappointed by CNN coverage of Clinton this year. They have played too much softball with her, which amounts to carrying water for her. The fact that I can find more probing questions and scathing criticisms of Clinton on MSNBC signals how far off the track CNN has become from providing fair and balanced coverage. Yes, CNN prepared a video clip similar to the one above from MSNBC; what is lacking is the harder hitting conversations such as shown in the 15-minute Morning Joe segment below:
Also, headlines favorable to Clinton are not only as easy to find as on MSNBC, the headlines unfavorable to Clinton are buried deeper on CNN than MSNBC. Part of this is a function of MSNBC’s focus on politics over other types of news stories, but though CNN covers a broader range of news, I still call into question the newsworthiness of many of said headlines compared to the newsworthiness of the stories critical of Clinton.
But back to the center of the story: The press conference the Obama administration envisioned for the wrapup of the FBI investigation of Clinton was to be a joint one, with a spokesperson (perhaps Attorney General Loretta Lynch, herself) or spokespersons from the US Department of Justice accompanying whoever the FBI provided as a spokesperson. Comey decided to spring this press conference as a surprise, both as to the timing and as to the content, in order to avoid the appearance of the complicity of the US Department of Justice in letting Clinton off the hook. In my view, this ironically underscores that the US Department of Justice is complicit. I have no doubt that the US Department of Justice would have stage managed this press conference very differently and would have not shed nearly as much light into the investigation as Comey did in his solo appearance. Though I, like other conservatives, wonder at Comey’s seemingly premature or misguided ruling out of prosecution, I find it easy to forgive him for it when I consider that the public would not be in possession of the truth were it not for Comey’s initiative in stepping to a microphone on short notice . . . such short notice that he effectively circumvented any other government entity from interfering with his message.
Loretta Lynch was coming up short in appearing to be above-board. However, even before she had a private meeting last week with Bill Clinton, in fact, even during the term of her predecessor, the politicization of the Department of Justice was already becoming visible. As I mentioned in my prior post, at some depositions, the Justice Department had dispatched its own lawyers to make sure that the scope of questions asked during investigations were narrow. The Justice Department appears to have much to hide. They have skin in the game. As I wrote in the prior post, not only is Clinton susceptible to blackmail by our geopolitical foes, like Russia, so is the Obama administration. This brings me to my next point: Clinton had to dodge prosecution in order to keep Obama’s flank protected. It’s why Obama has been certain from the get-go that there would not be a prosecution of Clinton. He couldn’t allow a prosecution because it would have exposed his own vulnerabilities and culpabilities. The envisioned stage-managed joint press conference had apparently been discussed well in advance of the conclusion of the investigation, showing that a determination to not prosecute had already been made. Comey’s preemption of that joint press conference by his own solo appearance is, I’m sure, more than a little bit worrisome to both Obama and Clinton.
We can expect to see Obama on the Clinton campaign trail a lot for the remainder of the election season. His best protection is getting her elected. Her best shot at election in light of these damaging revelations is to energize Obama voters. Expect her campaign to be contacting all voters that were identified as supporters of the previous Obama campaigns. Black voters are especially important to Obama and Clinton. Black voters have held Obama in very high esteem and they absolutely would not want Obama’s legacy tarnished. Any further erosion of confidence in Clinton leaves Obama that much closer to the possibility of being tarnished. The two, Obama and Clinton, will likely meet the same fate: They are triumphant together, or they are doomed together. Do not marvel that former intraparty foes are now cooperating closely, for they both have much to lose if Clinton does not succeed.