Hillary: It’s just a ‘security inquiry’; FBI director: There’s no such thing . . . it’s a real investigation

Oh, and he just might release the full report if Obama tries to protect her.

Maybe the Republicans should have nominated James Comey. The FBI director (who was a Bush appointee, after all) doesn’t mess around, and he’s not letting Hillary get away with turning the investigation into her e-mail shenanigans into something it isn’t.

Hillary tried to say on Face the Nation this past weekend that the investigation is really just a “security inquiry,” which I guess is supposed to be not such a big deal – unlike a real investigation.

Well. Comey was on Fox News yesterday and he was asked about that. Would you believe Hillary Clinton is making crap up? Why yes, I suppose you would. And you should:

Hillary Clinton for months has downplayed the FBI investigation into her private email server and practices as a mere “security inquiry.”

But when asked Wednesday by Fox News about Clinton’s characterization of the bureau’s probe, FBI Director James Comey said he doesn’t know what “security inquiry” means — adding, “We’re conducting an investigation. … That’s what we do.”

The FBI director reiterated that he’s “not familiar with the term security inquiry” when told that is the phrase Clinton has used.

As for the timeline for the investigation, Comey, during a briefing with reporters, said he prefers doing the investigation “well” over promptly and said he’s not “tethered” to a schedule.

The briefing comes amid reports that FBI investigators have been meeting with top aides in Clinton’s inner circle, including Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. The interviews have stoked speculation that the investigation may soon be drawing to a close, in the heat of the 2016 political season.

Asked Wednesday if he would make a public report, regardless of whether criminal charges are pursued, Comey said he would not say at this time. But he said there are “no special set of rules for anybody that the FBI investigates.”

That last part in bold is especially crucial, because it has to do with what happens if the investigation clearly points to the need for an indictment, but Attorney General Loretta Lynch back-pockets the whole thing in order to protect the Democratic Party’s nominee. (And if that happened, it would clearly be at Obama’s direction, even if it’s in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge sort of way.) To release a report after the DOJ passes on an indictment would be awfully unusual, and clearly the only reason Comey would consider it would be to prove that politics won the day over evidence and facts in the case.

The fact that he would not only consider doing it, but is publicly acknowledging the possibility, could mean two things: 1) He wants Lynch on notice that she could be called out if she covers Hillary’s behind; 2) Comey intends to let the public know what Hillary got away with so she can’t claim to have been “exonerated” simply because a friendly attorney general passes on an indictment the FBI wanted.

Rob told you yesterday about the State Department’s sudden inability to find any e-mails between Hillary and her IT guy, Bryan Pagliano. I get the impression that it’s this sort of nonsense that’s infuriating Comey and making him that much more determined to track down every lead and deal seriously with every bit of evidence in this case. For Hillary and her team to go around trying to put a label on the investigation that doesn’t even exist – all to make it sound like it’s not really serious – doesn’t appear to be scoring any points with Comey either.

None of this guarantees that the FBI recommends an indictment, of course. Comey won’t do that just because Hillary’s public behavior irritates him, although it clearly does. He’ll do it only if the evidence warrants it. Given just what the public knows from news reports, it’s hard to see how the evidence won’t warrant it, but that’s why the FBI has to do real investigations – not mere “security inquiries” that aren’t even a real thing.

Sort of like the rationale for a Hillary presidency.

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