FBI director James Comey defied Attorney General Loretta Lynch in his inappropriate and possibly illegal disclosure regarding emails related to Hillary Clinton’s server, the significance of which the FBI had not yet even assessed.
Coming less than two weeks before the Presidential election, Comey’s decision to make public new evidence that may raise additional legal questions about Clinton was contrary to the views of the Attorney General, according to a well-informed Administration official. Lynch expressed her preference that Comey follow the department’s longstanding practice of not commenting on ongoing investigations, and not taking any action that could influence the outcome of an election, but he said that he felt compelled to do otherwise.
Comey’s decision is a striking break with the policies of the Department of Justice, according to current and former federal legal officials. Comey, who is a Republican appointee of President Obama, has a reputation for integrity and independence, but his latest action is stirring an extraordinary level of concern among legal authorities, who see it as potentially affecting the outcome of the Presidential and congressional elections.
Also, it has been revealed that Comey had Weiner’s data a month ago, and sat on it till now:
The optics of this only growing worse for Comey. The FBI had Weiner's data A MONTH AGO pic.twitter.com/9Myoi1rPRk
— Mark Follman (@markfollman) October 29, 2016
An important piece from Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Clinton and co-founder of both the Washington law firm Davis Goldberg Galper PLLC and Trident DMG, says that what Comey has done “is nothing less than McCarthyism at its worst” and that his actions are “improper, irresponsible and possibly illegal:”
Nor does Comey as FBI director — an investigative agency, not a prosecution agency — have any authority to send a report to Congress in the middle of an investigation about the past or present subject of an investigation. He appears to be in violation of the limits on his authority as FBI director by disclosing investigation information — or possible investigation information — directly to Congress with obtaining permission from the attorney general or someone else delegated authority by her. His decision to reveal the results of an ongoing investigation, before a published criminal indictment, violates due process principles and pre-indictment secrecy rules and guidelines of the Justice Department.
I say what Comey has done, and Trump and his hateful followers have done, and many of the Trump apologists on TV cable stations have done, is nothing less than McCarthyism at its worst.
I say, as an attorney, that Comey, by writing this letter that he knew would be made public just 10 days before a presidential election, has acted so improperly and outside the boundaries of law and ethics that he should resign and, after investigation by legal ethical authorities and the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility, could be disbarred from law enforcement and the practice of law.
I say that Comey has a moral and ethical responsibility to disclose all the emails Clinton has demanded he disclose and hold a press conference to warn all against jumping to conclusions based on his fact-free letter and call out those who have done so. And apologize to the American people for his “extreme carelessness” in writing this letter without facts and without legal or ethical authority.