Saturday, July 2, 2016

"All Eyes Now Turn To FBI Director Jim Comey In Clinton Investigation"

"All Eyes Now Turn To FBI Director Jim Comey In Clinton Investigation"
by Tyler Durden

“The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the
moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.”
- Ayn Rand

"News about any FBI activity as it relates to the investigation into Hillary Clinton has been sparse lately, and as we noted earlier, the fact that it has been relatively quiet may be a growing concern inside the Clinton camp. However, due to the fallout from the recent private meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, the spotlight is now squarely shining on the FBI, and director Jim Comey in particular.

Recall that immediately after the public learned of the purely coincidental meeting, Lynch went into pure damage control mode. After simply telling reporters that all the two discussed was Bill's golf game and his grandchildren wasn't enough to quiet the questions surrounding the true intent of the meeting, Lynch decided to have a televised interview in order to clarify everything. During the interview, Lynch said that while she wasn't formally recusing herself from the decision whether or not to bring charges against Hillary, Lynch said that whatever recommendations were given from the department's career prosecutors and investigators, as well as the FBI director, would be accepted. Ironically, Lynch said that the decision to accept those recommendations was made long before the meeting with Clinton. "While I don't have a role in those findings and coming up with those findings or making those recommendations as to how to go forward, I'll be briefed on it and I will be accepting their recommendations," Lynch said during the interview.

With that said, as The Hill points out, the attention has now shifted to FBI Director Jim Comey and whether or not the FBI will recommend that the DOJ bring charges against Clinton. "Comey is the center of gravity on this thing. There is a growing expectation that we the public need to hear the FBI, Jim Comey version of whether or not charges will be brought. There has probably been increasing recognition by her that that's true, that she is viewed as regardless of her prior reputation as an effective prosecutor- she's now head of Obama's DOJ, a political position in a Democratic administration that is deciding on the prosecution or not of the leading Democratic candidate" said former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko.

As we said, there hasn't been much public news on the FBI's progress in the matter since we last reported that Hillary's top aide Huma Abedin was interviewed by the FBI back in May. Comey has said regarding the investigation that "We want to do it well and we want to do it promptly. As between the two things, we will always choose well."

Comey will now be looked at with a more intense focus from the public, as Lynch essentially punted the ball over to the FBI on whether or not to recommend charges. If Comey recommends charges, then the public will immediately know whether or not Lynch was telling the truth about accepting the FBI's recommendation on the matter. As The Hill puts it, Comey is widely respected by GOP lawmakers and is known for a streak of independence. Independence, coupled with the fact that the FBI is taking its time with the investigation, which was largely expected to wrap up by now, may have led to that chance meet up by Bill and Lynch, but we digress. Although the spotlight is now on Comey, there is a chance that the FBI and investigators at the DOJ arrive at different conclusions.

As The Hill explains: "The decision puts the spotlight squarely on Comey, a Republican who is widely respected by GOP lawmakers and known for a streak of independence. Comey has clashed repeatedly with the White House since he took office nearly three years ago, on issues ranging from the use of encryption technologies to the ability to vet Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. and the existence of the so-called “Ferguson effect” on policing efforts.

He’s shown willingness to buck GOP leaders as well, such as a famous 2004 episode when he rushed to a Washington hospital to block the George W. Bush White House from renewing a warrantless wiretapping program while then-Attorney General John Ashcroft laid ill. “He is a pro’s pro,” said Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney and head of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a watchdog group. “And I think this takes the pressure off of him that whatever the FBI recommends will be followed, where before I am certain he would be concerned that there will be political interference from the attorney general.”

There’s still a chance that FBI investigators and Justice Department lawyers, who are working on the case together, arrive at different conclusions on how to proceed. The FBI has a tendency to be more aggressive with cases, whereas prosecutors might be more reluctant to push a charge they are not absolutely certain will stick- especially if the next presidency might be at stake. “I could easily envision a scenario in which the FBI concludes there is enough evidence to make a case, but the DOJ prosecutors decide that the case is too weak to risk the legal precedent,” Bradley Moss, a lawyer who handles national security and secrecy issues, wrote in an email to The Hill. “The DOJ career prosecutors are truly the ones who are under the microscope at this point.”

As The Hill reminds us, in the federal case against former CIA Director David Petraeus last year, FBI officials reportedly pushed for Petraeus to be indicted on felony charges, but then-Attorney General Eric Holder downgraded the charges to misdemeanors. In an election year, with so much at stake for whatever is left of the DOJ's credibility, we will presumably soon find out whether or not Lynch was being honest with the American public. If the FBI recommends an indictment, and the DOJ doesn't implement, the consequences could be even greater social unrest in the US, a place where everyone believes the narrative "that can't happen here."

Furthermore, if the FBI does recommend an indictment and the DOJ doesn't move forward, there is a good chance that the American public will still be able to read the facts of the case and decide for themselves. We remind everyone what US Senator Chuck Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee said back in April: "Is there going to be political interference? If there’s enough evidence to prosecute, will there be political interference? And if there’s political interference, then I assume that somebody in the FBI is going to leak these reports and it’s either going to have an effect politically or it’s going to lead to prosecution if there’s enough evidence."

At the end of the day, however, with an apathetic electorate and a public that doesn't seem to care either way, no matter the outcome Hillary may very well have the final laugh: "what difference does it make" indeed.”

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