An excerpt from former FBI Director James Comey’s new memoir “A Higher Loyalty,” has everyone across the country talking. In the passage, Comey admits to believing Hillary Clinton was “sure” to win the 2016 presidential election and thereby made decisions under that premise.
That is, the leader of the FBI – the nation’s top law enforcement agency – was investigating Clinton while assuming she would be his next boss.
“It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls,” Comey wrote in the book.
Check it out:
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) April 12, 2018
So did Comey compromise the integrity of his own investigation because he assumed she would win the election? Some people who responded to the information over social media seem to think so:
The thing is, he is implicitly admitting that he was weighing factors other than the meaning of the law when he made his decision. This…isn’t really as exculpatory for anyone as some people seem to think it is. If anything, it shows that Comey’s calculus was political. https://t.co/SEGoMuVHU1
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) April 12, 2018
A Higher Loyalty, indeed. https://t.co/gK9yQKWyNA
— Heimish Conservative (@HeimishCon) April 13, 2018
Unbelievable. Justice by polling? https://t.co/daSIwrQHzz
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) April 13, 2018
So, the Director of the FBI was making law enforcement decisions based on…polls? https://t.co/9uzDlUYIm2
— Scott Jennings (@ScottJenningsKY) April 13, 2018
Some others think any outside influence, by polling or otherwise, should not have affected Comey:
I respect that he is admitting it. https://t.co/wpUdwNyOYT
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) April 12, 2018
Needless to say, when I worked did Janet Reno, she never consulted polls before she made decisions on how to handle a criminal case. https://t.co/V7pyAhB8bg
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) April 13, 2018
That’s as close as we’re gonna get to Comey saying, “I changed the course of history and for that I’m sorry, America.”
— Vivian Vacca (@ViviVacca) April 12, 2018
So he admits making prosecutorial decisions based on political polling. Cool, cool.
— bob (@artxmaverick) April 12, 2018
Here’s more on Comey’s Clinton investigation, per ABC News:
The book also includes a detailed description of Comey’s handling of the investigation regarding Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. That investigation led Comey to make a series of unusual and controversial public statements over the course of the summer and fall of 2016 – statements Clinton and others believe influenced the election.
Comey writes that he felt obligated to take more of a personal role as the public face of the investigation rather than deferring to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch – in part because of something involving Lynch that he cryptically refers to as a “development still unknown to the American public to this day.”
In early 2016, the U.S. government became aware of information from a classified source, and “the source and content of that material remains classified as I write this,” according to the book.
“Had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation,” Comey writes, without further elaboration.
Comey maintains he handled the initial public statements around the Clinton investigation correctly, save for two small changes he would make in hindsight regarding how he described his decision not to pursue criminal charges in July 2016.
Comey writes that he should have said at the outset of his public statement that there would be no charges; his family, he writes, believed he was “Seacresting” – or building up a dramatic tease like television host Ryan Seacrest.
He also writes that he should not have used the term “extremely careless” to describe Clinton’s behavior, since it sounded roughly similar to “grossly negligent” – the legal standard for prosecution.