"As my cousin, Pamela Merchant, wrote: Who is James Comey and why is he pulling this October “surprise?”
As some of you know, I was a federal prosecutor for many years and was at USDOJ during the Whitewater era. James Comey was a Whitewater special counsel.
I’m appalled by the 11th hour gamesmanship by Comey. The US DOJ and FBI have a longstanding policy of NOT interfering in elections. It’s unheard of for a federal prosecutor to pull a stunt like this so close to a Presidential election. It is especially absurd where there isn’t a suggestion that anything is wrong – just that there is another laptop that might contain e-mails that might have issues. I don’t buy for a minute that this isn’t partisan – or that Comey is the guy keeping his head down ( as some suggest in the attached article).
This isn’t the first time that Comey has violated DOJ/FBI policy in connection with the HRC e-mail investigation. This summer, he held a bizarre press conference where he announced that the FBI could not find sufficient evidence to indict Hillary Clinton in connection with the e-mails – but went on to state that Hillary Clinton and her staff “were extremely careless.” Declining to prosecute and then issuing a statement characterizing evidence in an investigation violates DOJ and FBI policy. There are strict rules that state that the DOJ and FBI may not comment on an ongoing investigation - let alone comment on a closed investigation. If the investigation is over, it’s over – there isn't a roundabout provision for mud slinging.. Comey was roundly criticized by legal scholars and former prosecutors for this stunt.
So, who is Comey? He is a U. of Chicago trained attorney and registered Republican until recently (during the afore-mentioned press conference he stated that he is no longer a registered Republican). He started his career at the white shoe firm Gibson Dunn before joining the Whitewater team. As we know, the Whitewater investigation didn’t uncover any wrongdoing on behalf of the Clintons in the financial fraud arena, but it did ‘unearth’ the Monica Lewinsky ‘scandal’ which led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Although Hillary Clinton was cleared – lots and lots of mud was slung.
Comey then joined the US Attorney’s Office for the SD NY where he worked on the investigation into Bill Clinton’s controversial pardoning of financier Marc Rich. The investigation went nowhere - -but – again - lots of mud was slung.
Comey ultimately became the US Atty for the SDNY and was lead on the celebrity Martha Stewart prosecution.
In 2003, during the GW Bush administration, he moved over to the Justice Department where he was #2 to John Ashcroft and, among other things, signed off on the use of water boarding, wall slamming and other forms of torture. [See the ACLU’s website for a good summary of Comey’s role in the various torture memos. aclu.org/blog/james-comey-two-thumbs-waterboarding].
In one bright spot, as Acting Attorney General, Comey refused to sign off on Bush’s mass surveillance and wiretapping program which had been justified by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez. Comey and then FBI Director Robert Mueller, threatened to resign unless changes were made to narrow the surveillance program. This incident is the one that Dems use to justify supporting Comeys elevation to FBI director.
When Gonzalez was promoted to Attorney General, it was time for to leave the government in pursuit of a more lucrative private practice. So, Comey spent five years as General Counsel and Sr. VP for Lockheed Martin (2005-2010) (the DOD’s largest defense contractor) and then joined an investment management firm. He later moved over to academia (Columbia Law School) and joined the board of one of the world’s largest banks, HSBC.
In one of Obama’s efforts to ‘reach across the aisle,' in 2013 he nominated Comey to become head of the FBI to replace Mueller. This was a tremendous disappointment to the human rights community because of Comey’s role in the torture memos. But, this would give him another opportunity to participate in another politically motivated Clinton investigation – this time into e-mails. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
Today Comey has sent this extraordinary letter based on a new investigation grounded in a sex scandal involving Anthony Weiner. Oh, and they haven’t looked at the laptop yet-- More mud anyone?"