According to information leaked to ABC News, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report is very critical of Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and says that he “defied authority as FBI director.”
The report specifically reprimands Comey for notifying Congress, 11 days prior to the election, that the FBI had reopened the email investigation after finding Clinton’s emails on a laptop owned by Huma Abedin and her then-husband, Andrew Weiner.
Although Comey did exonerate Clinton a few days before the election, her supporters claim that his October 28th letter to Congress stopped her momentum and cost her the election. The announcement was a gift to Republicans and was indeed a factor in her loss.
On the other hand, Comey also very publicly, and very unethically, exonerated Clinton on July 7th, 2016, when he was well aware that instead of acting with “extreme recklessness,” she had acted with “gross negligence” and criminal action should have been taken.
The wording here was critical because “gross negligence” is the definition used in the statute which covers the mishandling of classified information.
Section 793 of federal law states,
“Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer — shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”
Comey stated that Clinton did not “intend” to break the law. This prompted a debate among legal scholars about whether or not proof of “intent” to injure the U.S. is necessary.
Although the law does not state that proof of “intent” is essential to prosecute under this statute, a “1941 Supreme Court ruling stated that prosecutors must show there was ‘intent or reason to believe that the information to be obtained is to be used to the injury of the United States.’”
“But other scholars noted that prosecutions have been brought since the 1941 case in the military courts where intent wasn’t required.”
Take the case of Kristian Saucier, the former Navy sailor who was recently pardoned by President Trump. He served a year in prison for taking photos of a classified section of the submarine on which he worked.
He is preparing to sue the DOJ, James Comey, and former President Obama for unequal treatment under the law. He claims, correctly, that a two-tier justice system exists in the U.S.
Saucier said, “They interpreted the law in my case to say it was criminal,” referring to prosecuting authorities in his case, “but they didn’t prosecute Hillary Clinton. Hillary is still walking free. Two guys on my ship did the same thing and weren’t treated as criminals. We want them to correct the wrong.”
His attorney, Ronald Daigle, said, “We’ll highlight the differences in the way Hillary Clinton was prosecuted and how my client was prosecuted. We’re seeking to cast a light on this to show that there’s a two-tier justice system and we want it to be corrected.”
I believe Saucier’s case has merit. Many private citizens have been prosecuted for lesser offenses than Hillary Clinton’s where “intent” to harm the U.S. has not been a factor.
The report, according to the leaked information, accuses Comey of insubordination. Insubordination is considered grounds for dismissal from the FBI. This charge would help bolster Trump’s case for firing him.
James Comey will tell you that he is one of the few remaining honest, ethical men in Washington. He portrays himself as the Boy Scout among the unctuous operators of the Washington, DC swamp. And I am convinced he actually believes all these positive things to be true.
His actions, however, tell us the opposite. In order to reach his goals, Comey is not above telling half-truths and omitting crucial information as he did when he told President-elect Trump about one allegation in the Steele dossier in January 2017, leaving out the others and also what he knew about the origins of the document.
Nor is he above breaking the law as he demonstrated after his firing by giving his memos to his college professor friend with instructions to leak them to the media. Far from being the pillar of virtue he claims to be, James Comey is a manipulator.
In mid-May, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz completed his report. He then offered portions specific to the principles involved in the case for their review prior to the general release. The report was expected this week, but has now been pushed out to next week. Trump and others wonder why this is taking so long and worry that the final report will be watered down which is a valid concern.
Sen. Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has set a date for Michael Horowitz to answer questions about the report on Monday, June 11 at 2 pm, which is to live streamed and open to the public. Some are saying that because the report has still not been released, this hearing may be postponed as well. Stay tuned!
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