A recent letter from FBI Director Comey to Congress informing the legislature about the decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal has brought a great deal of praise and criticism from all sides.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accused the Director of violating the Hatch Act, in that reopening the investigation and informing Congress of that decision amounted to interfering with the election.
Now, this is a foolish accusation. The Hatch Act addressing campaigning, fundraising, and use of funds, not criminal investigations. Director Comey, in the letter, said that the Bureau found evidence from Hillary’s email server on the laptop of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in another investigation.
Given the timing, with how close Election Day is, the Left is accusing the Director of trying to influence the election.
But it seems that Reid’s accusation is being taken seriously in Washington and there may be a criminal investigation being opened against Director Comey in the near future.
A federal agency has likely opened an investigation into whether FBI Director James Comey is interfering in the presidential campaign by disclosing new materials related to the federal probe concerning Hillary Clinton’s emails.
An Office of Special Counsel (OSC) spokesman declined to address whether the office opened an investigation in response to a complaint by Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer. However, a spokesman noted that it generally would.
“It’s OSC’s longstanding policy not to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation,” Nick Schwellenbach said in an email to The Hill.
Questions about the discovery quickly began to mount. Comey’s letter was short on details, and subsequent leaks have suggested that the FBI so far has few details on the newly discovered messages.
Legal scholars on both sides of the aisle have questioned why Comey announced the development, given the apparent lack of information and the surefire impact it would have so close to Election Day.
“The F.B.I.’s job is to investigate, not to influence the outcome of an election,” Painter, who was an ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House, wrote in a New York Times op-ed on Sunday.
Painter filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel and the Office of Government ethics about Comey’s letter. At this point, given the nature of who the subject is in the investigation, it would not be surprising if a prosecution were actually to be pursued by the OSC.
This revelation comes hours after it has been reported that the White House has declined to comment on the decision to reopen the investigation.
Well, maybe the White House is staying out of it on the public end of things, but behind the scenes it is likely a different story…
Will the FBI Director be charged under the Hatch Act? It’s certainly possible. Any threat against Hillary Clinton is taken seriously by the Left, and it doesn’t matter who the threat is; that person must be taken out one way or another.
However, perhaps in sending a letter to Congress Comey did make a mistake. If any announcement were to be made, an official press release may have been a wiser option. But the idea that he informed Congress to sway the results of the election? That argument holds no water.