Nominating James Comey as FBI director back in July, 2013 may have seemed like a pragmatic bipartisan gesture, but I well imagine President Obama is regretting it now. Comey has gone rogue! The FBI director crossed the line in sending a letter to Congressional Republican leaders saying that there might be something linked to Hillary Clinton in a new batch of e-mails between Anthony Wiener and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, who is a close aide to Hillary in her Presidential campaign.
It looks like Comey has done nothing more than throw some red meat to Republicans in an effort to salvage his name in conservative circles. He took a vicious hit when he came out in July, saying that after a lengthy investigation there was nothing in Hillary's deleted e-mails to suggest she passed along any damaging confidential state information. Trump assailed Comey on the campaign trail, and now Trump's daughter-in-law is claiming that Trump forced the FBI director's hand. More likely, Comey couldn't stand the abuse he was getting and decided to play whistleblower, albeit with very little to whistle about. However, there is just enough to send conservatives on the war path again, demanding Hillary's head.
It's like something out of a 70's B-movie. One can picture Comey as Bennie, a US Army Officer, hiding out in Mexico, who gets involved in a grisly revenge plot. Like with Alfredo Garcia, there has been a bounty on Hillary's head throughout this election and it seems Comey thought he knew just how to get it, by planting just enough intrigue in these final two weeks to see her high poll numbers go tumbling down.
James Comey is a Yonkers lawyer who helped bring the Gambino crime family down, and also led the prosecution against Martha Stewart in the early 2000s. But, the case that lingers in most conservatives' minds is that of Marc Rich, whom Comey helped prosecute, while serving in Giuliani's federal prosecutor's office in New York and then turned against his former boss by finding no wrong doing in Clinton's last-minute pardon that appeared to be a case of quid quo pro with Israel over Rich, who was then an Israeli citizen.
Despite all the controversy surrounding the pardon, Comey was pegged as assistant Deputy Attorney General during the George W. Bush administration, serving as Ashcroft's second in the justice department. With Ashcroft in the hospital in 2004, Comey made a very unpopular decision in holding up a key provision of the NSA surveillance program that earned him the enmity of the White House, only to have Ashcroft and FBI director Mueller stand behind him. This kind of rugged bipartisanship is what eventually led Obama to consider him for the post Mueller vacated at the FBI in 2013.
Whether politically intentional or not, the incident makes Comey look like a dirty rat, sending a toxic letter to Republican Congressional leaders with little forewarning and forcing Hillary to have to respond to it. The White House is outraged. The Department of Justice has issued a complaint, as Comey has broken with a long-standing tradition of not interfering in the last 60 days of a presidential campaign. Hillary has also made her feelings vocal. None of it matters now, because the insinuations are out there and Trump and Congressional Republicans are running with them hoping for a reversal of polls in these last ten days.
It is doubtful the letter will turn the presidential election but it will very likely make it too close for comfort these remaining days, as Trump had already regained ground in Ohio and Arizona in the wake of the wikileaks live stream of the secret workings of the Clinton campaign. However, it does mean that Hillary Clinton will most likely enter the White House only to find herself immediately the subject of another Congressional investigation, as Republicans still have the overall edge in Congressional races.
Maybe Comey wasn't so much interested in Trump as he was helping to keep a Republican Congressional majority in place so that Hillary would find it very difficult to govern her first four years in office. This news is more likely to affect down ticket races, as voters will want to keep Hillary in check. Pretty savvy move if this is the case.