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Memo to Comey: Keep Your Damn Hands Off Our Elections

By       Message Mike Whitney     Permalink
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From Counterpunch


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Without a shred of evidence and against the expressed wishes of his superiors at the Department of Justice, the head of the nation's most prestigious law enforcement agency announced the reopening of an investigation into the mishandling of classified material by Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The surprise announcement was delivered last Friday by FBI Director James Comey who knew that the action would create a cloud of suspicion around Clinton that could directly effect the outcome of the election.

Recent surveys suggest that indeed has been the case, and that Hillary is now neck in neck with GOP contender Donald Trump going into the home-stretch of the bitterly contested campaign.

By inserting himself into the democratic process, Comey has ignored traditional protocols for postponing such announcements 60-days prior to an election, shrugged off the counsel of his bosses at the DOJ, and tilted the election in Trump's favor. His action is as close to a coup d'e'tat as anything we've seen in the U.S. since the Supreme Court stopped the counting of ballots in Florida in 2000 handing the election to George W. Bush.

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It is not the job of the FBI to inform Congress about ongoing investigations. Comey's job is to gather information and evidence that is pertinent to the case and present it to the DOJ where the decision to convene a grand jury is ultimately made. Comey is a renegade, a lone wolf who arbitrarily decided to abandon normal bureaucratic procedures in order to torpedo Clinton's prospects for election. The widespread belief that Comey is a "good man who made a bad decision" is nonsense. He is an extremely intelligent and competent attorney with a keen grasp of Beltway politics. He knew what he was doing and he did it anyway. It's absurd to make excuses for him.

In a carefully-crafted statement designed to deflect attention from his flagrant election tampering, Comey said this to his fellow agents:

"'We don't ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed,' Comey said. 'I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.'" (CNN)

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Let's take a minute and parse this statement. First: "We don't ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations."

True, because it is not the FBI's job to do so. The FBI's job is to dig up evidence and refer it to the Justice Department. Comey is not the Attorney General although he has arbitrarily assumed her duties and authority.

Second: "I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record."

"Supplement the record"?

That's a pretty suggestive statement, don't you think? When someone says they're going to supplement the record, you naturally assume that they're going to add important details to what the public already knows. Obviously, those details are not going to be flattering to Hillary or there'd be no reason to reopen the case. So the public is left with the impression Comey is going to produce damning information that could lead to an indictment of Hillary sometime in the future.

This is precisely why normal protocols require that no new investigations be announced 60 days before an election. Why?

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Because the public invariably assumes that "investigation" equals "guilt." In other words, "The FBI wouldn't be investigating Hillary unless they had some dirt on her. Therefore, I'd better not waste my vote on Hillary."

This is the logic upon which Comey's dirty trick rests. He knows the effect his announcement will have because he is law enforcement's version of Karl Rove, a bona fide partisan who's mastered the dark art of political sabotage.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.


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