FBI Director James Comey's incredibly reckless and irresponsible letter to several Republican Congressional Chairmen (copied to Democratic Ranking Members) only eleven days before the presidential election, disclosing further investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails after essentially exonerating her in July, has dominated news broadcasts.
Director Comey's missive made reference to emails possibly connected to the Clinton brouhaha, found in an unrelated case, emphasizing it wasn't known if anything about them was significant, though ironically it fomented significant bearing on the upcoming race.
Despite his department's longstanding policy not to publicize investigations within sixty days of any election, let alone one of this importance, and to do so without knowledge about what was in the emails or whether in fact there was anything germane begs the question as to why this man should be allowed to remain in office.
His lame excuse, supported by some attorneys, was that his previous public statements acknowledging there was no strong case for prosecution of Hillary Clinton, which was in itself uncharacteristic behavior for an FBI Director, made him honor bound to announce when certain emails were discovered on a laptop of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, whom the FBI was investigating regarding alleged sexual misdeeds.
Except there was no admission by Comey that perhaps all the emails were duplicates of emails from Hillary Clinton's server, already dealt with by his staff and that, even if there were some new ones relating to Weiner's estranged wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, there was no indication anything earth shattering was discovered. There was also no declaration that any emails were addressed to or came from Hillary.
Yet in a closely run race, tightening by the day, Comey sent this letter to high-ranking congressmen without a warning it should be held in the strictest of confidence, lest the congressmen themselves be guilty of spilling secrets of an ongoing FBI investigation.
Then the Media jumped on it, notably MSNBC's Chris Matthews, presumably still a Democrat as he'd built his career working alongside former House Speaker Tip O'Neill. Matthews normally is very critical of Donald Trump, though in an attempt to strengthen his journalistic integrity he has from time to time lambasted Hillary as well. In this instance last Friday, he was practically salivating at the thought that a once thought of presidential race in the bag for Hillary was now in doubt.
His subsequent interview on the same program with GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence was noted for his softball questioning in spite of the show's Hardball appellation. He let Pence get away with deflecting the subject at hand to typical talking points about the Clinton Foundation, etc. Not once did Matthews broach the ambiguities in Comey's letter to challenge Pence, nor did he ever ask Pence to explain his right-wing stances as governor of Indiana, notably signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to countenance discrimination against gays.
There were some commentators on CNN and elsewhere who more correctly analyzed the FBI Director's letter, emphasizing that information specifically about Hillary was not introduced and therefore that the connection was unknown. Indeed, in a later memo to FBI underlings, Comey attempted to explain his actions, walking them back a bit mentioning "At the same time, however, given that we don't know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don't want to create a misleading impression." Really?
Still, Matthews and others pounced on the thought that the election might be turning for Trump, even with no clear evidence to justify it, as opposed to the unmistakable actions Trump exhibited with his Access Hollywood pronouncements. Yes, the parade of women who've come forth with accusations are admittedly not yet proven, but Trump's hostile statements about minorities and women, his ignorance about world happenstance, his lauding of dictators like Putin and others, his failure to pay income taxes and refusal to show his returns, the Trump University lawsuit against him are all existent parts of the record.
Oddly, Fox News conservative Trump supporter Jeanine Pirro denounced the FBI Director, equating it to a similar investigation when she ran for New York Attorney General in 2006. However, what might have seemed a bipartisan rant to gain her favor in other circles, morphed into conjecture that, in spite of her distaste for Comey's action, Clinton certainly was guilty of serious stuff and Pirro wondered if she were elected would it lead to impeachment? This is the sort of crap Fox News spewed forth even after Comey's decision not to prosecute, continuing to fan flames about conduct concerning the emails and the Clinton Foundation. So, Pirro played it both ways, seemingly outraged about Comey's action, nonetheless spreading unproven allegations in line with the continuing alliance of the conservative network and Trump's campaign.
The Media and government officials must continue to implore Comey to be more illuminating, but meanwhile, since the "scandal" appears to throw a spotlight on Huma Abedin, and it's not the first time, if she is really enamored of Hillary, as Mrs. Clinton seems to be of her, then it would be a very smart thing for her to resign and stay as far away from Clinton as possible.
Hillary has a deep affection for the woman, considering her like a second daughter, and it's doubtful she would throw her under the bus. But Abedin should know better and with so much at stake and with Hillary on the verge of winning wouldn't such a voluntary action reduce concerns about Hillary by voters on the fence? If there's even a shred of a thought Hillary may have management issues and is blind when it comes to personal entanglements this would put out a huge conflagration Hillary's campaign doesn't need, inasmuch as what Comey alluded to with innuendo has actually proven nothing.
Michael Russnow's website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com