Dominating the national conversation for the next few days will no doubt be the interview between ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and fired FBI Director James Sanctimonious --- I mean Comey. This exchange of softball questions and self-serving answers, edited down to one hour (minus commercials) from five hours of conversation, was perhaps the most sickening piece of political propaganda I’ve ever seen on a major network. And that’s saying something.
It’s a mystery how Comey even functions –- his mind, I mean. He wraps himself in “truth” while misrepresenting it numerous times in this interview. He seems to be in such denial that he’s oblivious to the irony of what he’s doing: chiding others for politicizing investigations WHILE APPEARING ON AN AGENDA-DRIVEN SHOW THAT IS POLITICIZING INVESTIGATIONS. The last 15 minutes or so of the interview are as political as it gets, with Comey actually saying in response to some conveniently leading questions that the President is morally unfit for office and calling on Americans to stop him at the ballot box.
So, whom would Comey rather have in the Oval Office? Hillary? After all, if Trump hadn’t won the White House, that means Hillary would have. I guess that would be just fine with Comey; after all, she didn’t “intend” to break the law over and over while she was at the State Department. Never mind that she couldn’t possibly be naive enough or witless enough to mishandle classified material and destroy massive piles of subpoenaed evidence without meaning to, or that others have been jailed for far less, or that the investigations into Hillary’s various and sundry misdeeds could easily stretch out over the next decade.
And that’s where I’m going with this –- the shocking double standard applied to Hillary Clinton, which is even more obvious as of last Friday. Contained in the portion of Inspector General Horowitz’s report released on that day is a reference to an attempt by the Obama Justice Department to shut down the investigations being carried out in four FBI field offices. Have you heard about this? The story is just too important to be overshadowed this week by Comey’s grotesque TV appearance.
According to the IG report, on August 12, 2016, then-FBI deputy Director McCabe received a phone call from an unnamed Justice Department principal associate deputy attorney general (referred to as PADAG) pressuring him to shut down the FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation. We’re talking multiple investigations in four field offices --- New York; Los Angeles; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Washington, DC, all sparked by “suspicious activity” between a foreign donor and the foundation.
Note that this demand was made by a very high-level person, and in a phone call rather than an official written communication that could be more easily used as evidence.
The call from Justice came a couple of months after then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had that completely innocent private meeting with Bill Clinton to talk about grandchildren when their planes by sheer coincidence were grounded together at the airport in Phoenix. McCabe characterized that call as “acrimonious.” saying he’d never had a conversation of such intense drama before or since.
This call was apparently part of the narrative McCabe wanted leaked to Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal, and he authorized two staff members --- one of which was Lisa Page, of the infamous Strzok/Page texts --- to do the leaking. That’s the case of leaking he misled the IG about; his “lack of candor” got him fired.
So, why on earth would McCabe want to leak a story about bowing to pressure to end the Clinton investigation? It sure doesn't make the FBI sound good. The IG concluded that he had done this to help his own reputation after Barrett reported on the approximately $500,000 donation to McCabe’s wife Jill’s state senate campaign from Clinton “bagman” Terry McAuliffe. McCabe had wanted to show that he wasn’t biased in favor of Hillary. The FBI does not take kindly to leaking information about an investigation for the purpose of making oneself look good.
And why was this even an issue in the first place? It wouldn’t have been if McCabe had recused himself from the Hillary case in the beginning. Maybe if McCabe and others at the FBI and Justice had heeded their serious conflicts of interest and political biases, those institutions might still have a little credibility left.
Anyway, the big takeaway here, bigger even than James Comey’s enormous ego –- or his stunningly hypocritical interview, which will mercifully fade from memory --- is that the Obama Justice Department really did apply serious pressure to the FBI to get the Hillary investigation dropped. It’s as we thought: the fix was in.