In the wake of FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, high-ranking Obama administration officials and Democrats are in an all-out campaign to destroy Comey's credibility and bully him into submission in what might be the most absurd and hypocritical move of the 2016 election cycle.
On Friday, in what could be the most important moment in this highly contentious campaign season, Comey sent a letter informing various congressional committees of his decision to reopen the criminal investigation into Clinton's private email server. Comey's decision came after New York FBI officials discovered Clinton-related emails on a computer shared by former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a top Clinton staffer. The FBI discovered the emails while investigating recent claims alleging Weiner sent sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl.
Comey's letter is vague and provides few details revealing what FBI agents discovered that led Comey to reopen the highly controversial case just 11 days prior to the election. What is clear, however, is whatever was found was enough to get the attention of the New York FBI agents and to compel Comey to make the very difficult decision to reopen an investigation that had been put to bed months ago.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" that he suspects the FBI discovered something "quite serious," saying, "I think, after the several meetings that the Congress had with Director Comey, he was quite clear that the investigation was done and that he would only open it if there was significant information, and my guess is there must be something significant."
Comey's decision has been met with a firestorm of opposition from the Clinton campaign and her supporters. In a press conference held on Friday, Clinton demanded the FBI release all the evidence they have related to the decision to reopen the case. Over the weekend, Clinton called Comey's decision "deeply troubling" and "unprecedented."
Eric Holder, the former attorney general and a current Clinton advisor, along with a group of former Department of Justice officials, wrote an open letter heavily criticizing Comey's decision, which read in part, Comey's "unprecedented decision to publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just eleven days before a presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote a blistering letter Sunday night against Comey that alleged his decision was politically motivated and possibly against federal law. "I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act," wrote Reid. "Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law."
The outrage expressed by these high-ranking Democrats, while not surprising, is repulsive and highly hypocritical.
Their primary argument is Comey's decision came too close to Election Day and therefore must be politically motivated. But that means the alternative Democrats would prefer is Comey wait until after the election is over to inform Congress the FBI is investigating a presidential candidate who has been mired in controversy for months. They would rather Comey not interfere, as they see it, in the results of the campaign, all while ignoring that deliberately concealing the investigation is also a form of tampering, because voters would be deprived of vital information.
Clinton's claim suggesting Comey's decision is "unprecedented" is true, but how could it not be? Clinton is the first presidential candidate in history to be under criminal investigation just days before voters might elect her to the most powerful position in the world. It would be equally unprecedented had Comey decided to stay silent!
Further, Reid says Comey has broken the Hatch Act, but the Hatch Act is totally unrelated to the current situation. It is meant to prevent federal employees from interfering with political activities and typically used to prosecute federal officials who help candidates get elected by abusing their positions in government. All Comey did was tell people what is actually happening within his own department. Just because the truth in this case isn't helping Clinton does not make it a form of "campaigning" or advocacy.
Worst of all, Democrats are harshly criticizing Comey for using vague language in his letter announcing the reopening of the investigation. But the entire reason the investigation was started in the first place is because Clinton and her team worked tirelessly to destroy tens of thousands of emails, including numerous emails containing classified information, to prevent the public from seeing what she was up to. She even destroyed 13 of her mobile devices, at least two of which were smashed to pieces with a hammer.
Clinton demands transparency from the FBI, but she wouldn't be in this mess if she had been transparent with the American people in the first place.
Justin Haskins is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is an executive editor at The Heartland Institute. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.