A day later, I’m still trying to make sense of why James Comey would choose to do what he did yesterday. If you just don’t want to recommend charges against Hillary, the logical move would be to say as little as possible, talk about how the case doesn’t rise to the level of prosecution, and leave the stage.
By talking at length about all the evidence that clearly shows Hillary was guilty of at least gross negligence in her handling of classified information – which is absolutely a criminal violation regardless of intent – he might as well have been waving a banner that proclaimed “The Fix Is In.”
Plenty of people who know Comey and respect him both personally and professionally are bewildered at why he would go into so much detail about the evidence against her, only to then announce he would not recommend charges on the flimsy notion that he couldn’t find another case like it that had been prosecuted.
It was so flimsy, the more I think about it the more I wonder if everything is as it appears here.
And that leads me to a theory: Comey knew Hillary should have been charged, but he was under orders to recommend otherwise. His job was on the line. Now to be sure, honorable men have resigned over less, and you could argue that if this was the case, Comey should have done so.
But let’s say there’s some reason he thought it would be better for him to stay on the job. Maybe he’s one of the few serious law enforcement people at the top echelons of the FBI after all the years of Obama’s influence, and he fears that the nation would be hurt by the change in direction that would occur at the FBI if he left.
So he could publicly defy his bosses and recommend charges, perhaps calculating it would look so bad to immediately fire him that they’d be called on their bluff. But maybe, he thought, there was a better way to do this.
So you basically make a two-part announcement: The first part reveals the true details of the investigation and what was discovered. This part is a blistering indictment – if only rhetorical – of Hillary and her malfeasance. You leave no doubt after you share this information that Hillary lied extensively and was guilty of multiple crimes.
Then you stun everyone by announcing no charges, which completely flies in the face of everything you said leading up to it. Everyone scratches their heads. The New York Times and the Washington Post naturally ignore everything but the recommendation of no charges, but plenty of other people paid attention to the earlier details and can only conclude that the United States is now a banana republic.
And Comey believes that too, which is why – if he had to follow orders and let Hillary get away with it – he was at least going to let everyone know just what a politicized sham that decision was.
I have no inside information here. I’m just theorizing. But it makes more sense than what we’re being asked to believe.