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On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey informed Republican Congressional leaders that the FBI was investigating a group of emails which had allegedly been discovered on the laptop computer of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is suspected of having sent lewd pictures to a 15-year old girl. This development came too late to be discussed in today’s edition of World Crisis Radio, but a quick comment is urgent because of the ongoing voting process.
Weiner is the husband of Huma Abedeen, a close adviser to Hillary Clinton. Comey suggested that Huma had also used Weiner’s computer. Comey also suggested, with no proof whatsoever, that email traffic between Weiner and Huma was somehow linked to earlier and now dormant investigations of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, a probe of which was concluded with no results last July.
Despite its intrinsic insignificance, Comey’s letter triggered immediate media hysteria. The Saturday Oct. 29 Washington Post headlined that the FBI was examining “more Clinton emails,” although leaked reports assert that none of the emails was sent or received by Hillary. How these communications can be described as Clinton emails was thus not evident.
The Washington Post and the New Yorker reported that Comey had been instructed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her deputy that there was no urgency for Congress and the public to be informed about such raw and unexamined evidence on the eve of the presidential election. Comey knew that Department of Justice guidelines and traditions strongly discourage public announcements about political candidates on the eve of elections, even when the evidence is much clearer and convincing that these raw emails, which may well soon be found to be extraneous and irrelevant.
Comey is a partisan Republican foolishly nominated for his current post by President Obama. His behavior suggests that he is acting under pressure from desperate Congressional Republicans. These Republicans are well aware that they are in grave danger of being defeated in the upcoming elections for the Presidency, the Senate, and quite possibly the House, which will also put the Supreme Court out of their control. Given current demographic and political trends, this result may leave the GOP permanently deprived, not just of power, but also of their prized ability to block budgets, shut down the federal government, push the country to the edge of bankruptcy and default, and prevent the approval of cabinet officers, Supreme Court justices, and other federal officials. This power of the Republican Party to cripple the U.S. government may thus be on the verge of extinction. We can imagine the apocalyptic mentality this state of affairs has generated on Capitol Hill. The desire to counteract this perspective has evidently been transmitted to Comey, and has prodded him towards his reckless and irresponsible actions of yesterday.
Back in July, Comey announced that there would be no indictment of Mrs. Clinton in the grotesquely exaggerated private email server affair. But Comey, already violating guidelines and traditions in order to placate Congressional reactionaries, went on to deliver a long and bombastic tirade full of obiter dicta about how sloppy Hillary had been in the handling of classified information, etc. Here he already demonstrated he was not suited for his current post. Now, Comey has presented the appalling spectacle of a police agency trying to influence the outcome of an election. His departure from office can only begin to remedy the resulting situation.
Comey may also have lost control of his agency. Some reports state that Comey sent his letter to Congress because he feared that inflammatory leaks about these emails would soon be forthcoming from disgruntled right-wing FBI investigators motivated by their hatred of Hillary, or by personal sympathies for the GOP and its current candidate for the White House. Such officials can have no place in so sensitive an agency. Their ouster might help the FBI to upgrade its overall performance.
The appropriate response from the American people to this outrageous challenge to the democratic process can only be to vote the Republican Party and its minions out of office at every level in the Nov. 8 election.