James Comey wants his legacy to be as Superman, standing up to a despotic President Donald Trump, who demanded his personal loyalty above his duty to the law. But really, his legacy will be as the FBI director who put politics above the law, pandering to the Obama administration and the Clinton gang.
In early drafts of Comey’s public statement, the one in July in which he said no prosecutor would prefer charges against Hillary Clinton, he used the words “grossly negligent” in respect to her handling of classified material. This was later changed to “extremely careless.”
The facts in the investigation did not change. No special exonerating information emerged between the early draft and the final announcement. In fact, later evidence clearly supported criminal charges, especially after emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
This is why the words “grossly negligent” matter:
A federal statute provides criminal penalties for “gross negligence,” but Comey in his public statement on July 5 instead called Clinton “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information when she was secretary of state. He said no prosecutor would bring a criminal case against her.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley put it more succinctly. Clinton “violated the statute.”
“Although Director Comey’s original version of his statement acknowledged that Secretary Clinton had violated the statute prohibiting gross negligence in the handling of classified information, he nonetheless exonerated her in that early, May 2nd draft statement anyway, arguing that this part of the statute should not be enforced,” Grassley said in a letter to Wray.
Meanwhile, Democrats want to keep the focus on any link between Trump and the Russians, no matter how many links there were between the DNC, Clinton campaign and the very same Russians.
They want Comey to be their hero, when he’s not being blamed for Hillary’s loss. The loser here is, of course, Comey, who will go down in history as less appealing than Benedict Arnold. But his book will sell well.
Comey should have gone with the law all along. He should have prosecuted Clinton. Donna Brazile would have gladly made Joe Biden the nominee (or Bernie Sanders would have lost by at least 79 more electoral votes than Clinton). The outcome would not have changed, since Trump would have probably pardoned Clinton anyway. As a matter of fact, things would have been much smoother.
Now Comey’s legacy will be as the man who began the sad march toward American chaos, where the Russians laugh at us. All because he went for politics over the law.