By Chris Farrell is the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch and a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. He is a former Military Intelligence officer and Special Agent of US Army Counterintelligence. Farrell is also an Adjunct Professor in the Journalism Program of the Department of Communications at George Mason University.
FBI's Comey Is Complicit In Clinton Email Scandal
Should James B. Comey, Jr. continue as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation? Is he professionally compromised? Does Mr. Comey continue to enjoy the “special trust and confidence” of the American people, the rank-and-file of the FBI, and the thousands of government employees holding security clearances and access to classified information?
On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, Mr. Comey conducted a fifteen-minute press briefing detailing the elements of the crime of mishandling national defense information, specifically Title 18 U.S.C. §793(f) and the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of an outlaw email server.
Comey provided the following detailed examples of how Mrs. Clinton violated the law: “110 e-mails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information.”
Comey charged that former Secretary of State Clinton (and her colleagues), “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” And he confirmed that, “any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”
With respect to Mrs. Clinton’s culpability in the compromise of national defense information to hostile actors, Mr. Comey stated: “We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent.
She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”
Unbelievably, having defined the elements of a national security crime and given specific examples of Mrs. Clinton’s reckless, dangerous conduct in each case, Mr. Comey concluded that “no charges are appropriate in this case” and that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Mr. Comey did not tell the truth. Many people, in and out of government, know Mr. Comey’s blatant falsehood.
Exhibit A is the July 2015 prosecution of Bryan H. Nishimura, a Navy reservist in Sacramento, California, who plead guilty to charges – developed by Mr. Comey’s FBI – that represent a mere fraction of what Mr. Comey says Mrs. Clinton was involved in doing at the State Department.
The public’s faith in the fair administration of justice was damaged by Attorney General Lynch’s meeting with President Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix. It was further damaged by the apparent sweetheart “voluntary interview” of Mrs. Clinton by the FBI on the Saturday of the July 4th weekend.
Then just over 48 hours later (no doubt Mr. Comey spent the weekend carefully examining a year’s worth of interview transcripts), the proverbial stake was driven through the heart of any remaining faith and confidence in the public’s concept of “equal justice under law” or in Mr. Comey’s professional integrity by his nonsensical, contradictory, and insulting decision to let Mrs. Clinton “walk” on her national security crimes. No other federal government employee would have received the extraordinary, exceptional treatment Mr. Comey conferred on Mrs. Clinton.
Government employees with security clearances and access to classified information – especially in law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the armed forces – are shaking their heads in disgust, disappointment, and disbelief. They now know the truth. No other cabinet secretary has ever broken the law so flagrantly or endangered national security so gravely. Mr. Comey is now complicit in Mrs. Clinton’s reckless conduct. Mr. Comey knowingly gave Mrs. Clinton a “pass.” He is compromised.
Should Mr. Comey continue as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation? No.