After the past few days and weeks, there are a lot of people who want to crucify FBI Director James Comey for his handling of the never ending Clinton e-mail issue. I am not one of them.
Several days/weeks ago, the Director was presented with additional facts and information about an apparently settled case and had to make a painstaking and unprecedented decision in a highly politicized environment on what to do. While investigating the potentially illicit activities of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, the FBI came across thousands of e-mails that might have been relevant to the investigation into Secretary Clinton. After briefing the Department of Justice and overruling the leadership and pressing forward, Comey chose as much transparency as he could possibly muster. He mobilized the Bureau and its considerable resources to act and shared his decisions and actions with the leadership of Congress, the Justice Department and American public.
Moving with as much swiftness as he and the Bureau could, the FBI completed their review and after reviewing the new facts the Director decided it reinforces the original decision offered this past July—not to seek an indictment and prosecution of Sec. Clinton.
As quickly as folks are to cry for his head and resignation given how he handled this situation, I ask, “What do you expect him to do when given new information? Ignore it? Forget it exists?”
Director Comey was put in an unprecedented situation and chose to act as independently and with as much transparency and swiftness as he could. He provided a check and balance in a hyper-politicized process, and if he had ignored it, it would have been a dereliction of duty and the oath of office he took. For that and a lot more, the Director has my respect and admiration. I think he’s more than earned that, but I’m sure that is a minority opinion in the current climate.
The ongoing e-mail problems that Sec. Clinton has endured for well over a year now are of her own making. Had she followed the counsel of her colleagues, friends, and staffers and dumped all of the e-mails for an FBI review and not engaged in trickle-down excuses, her e-mail problems and the ugly suspect shadow that has hung over her would not have metastasized into the lingering scar she will carry forward.
Per the attack-pack mentality that exists in today’s culture, both sides of the political aisle will seek to tear Comey down. And that is part of the problem we face in this country today. An individual has already been given a Herculean job as the lead law enforcement investigative authority, and acting as impartially as he possibly could in a toxic political environment, he stepped forward to do his job. For too many people, they will see that as a crime unto itself because it did not fit with their own rose-colored view of the world or render the judgment they wanted.
I choose to call it leadership and integrity, and in a country as politically torn as we are today, it’s nice to know it still exists somewhere, especially in Washington, DC.