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Why FBI Director James Comey did the wrong thing ... again

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By Mark Sumner

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The New York Times headline article sums up Comey's dilemma aptly enough.

"Mr. Comey could immediately inform Congress about the emails, which were found in an investigation into former Representative Anthony D. Weiner. That unusual step, months after Mr. Comey had cleared Mrs. Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing in the email case, would risk accusations that he was unfairly harming her presidential campaign less than two weeks before the election.

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"Or he could delay any announcement and examine the new emails more closely, risking criticism that he had suppressed important new information if it came out after the election, despite his pledges of "transparency" in the investigation."

And with that, the choice should have been obvious -- Comey shouldn't have made any announcement. There shouldn't have been a decision to make.

That there was even a choice in Comey's mind comes back to the same thing that's caused the FBI Director to err at every single stage of this investigation. It's not that "Jim Comey is an apolitical straight shooter," as every talking head is eager to tell you. It's that Jim Comey is very concerned that he be seen as an apolitical straight shooter. Because of that, he has, repeatedly, put preservation of his own reputation ahead of both justice and the good of the nation.

From his ludicrous, finger-wagging press gaggle in announcing Clinton's innocence, to his ham-fisted intrusion into the final act of the election, Comey has felt compelled to insert Jim Comey, straight-shooter, into every moment.

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