In a devastating hearing for FBI Director James Comey, Republicans forced Comey to acknowledge that Hillary was “unintentionally criminally negligent,” but that he had rewritten federal law to get her off; that Hillary lied repeatedly, but that the FBI didn’t record its interview with her; that Comey didn’t know if Hillary lied to the FBI in reality, but cleared her anyway.
It was an ugly spectacle for Comey, who came into the day having thoroughly indicted Hillary in the court of public opinion, but allowing her to escape legal justice. Comey said that the Clinton camp didn’t “know they were doing something illegal,” which is absolutely asinine – why else set up a private server and then refuse repeated admonitions from the State Department?
He also said that he had “no basis to conclude that she lied to the FBI,” although he admitted he was not present for her interview and said that the interview had not been taped.
He claimed that Hillary had not instructed her team to destroy evidence – odd, given that her team destroyed thousands of emails worth of evidence, emails that were under subpoena at the time. Comey refused to answer whether he would hire anyone to an FBI position who had been “extremely careless,” but attempted to distinguish such “carelessness” from “gross negligence” based on…nothing. He finally claimed that Hillary was just “unsophisticated” about classification, which would be odd given that she headed the State Department – and given that Barack Obama says she’s the most qualified presidential candidate in history.
All of which suggests that there are two standards of justice: the actual standard of justice, and the Clinton standard of justice. Perhaps the most hilarious moment of the hearing came when Comey was asked whether people in government would believe there are consequences for violating the law. He said there would.
The debate going into the hearing was simple: did Comey do the right thing, and put himself out there in order to attack Hillary publicly? Or did he do the wrong thing?
He did the wrong thing. And he has no excuse for doing the wrong thing other than defending a major party nominee who obviously violated the law.