By Steven R. Maher
It seems the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going all out to elect Donald Trump the next President of the United States. By accident or design, the bureau has done four things in the last week to discredit Hillary Clinton and shift what may be an unstoppable momentum to Trump. The FBI has jumped into this campaign with both feet.
• On Friday October 28, 2016 FBI Director James Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to the Chairmen of Congressional oversight committees updating his sworn testimony on the original investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers. Comey said the FBI came across emails “pertinent” to the Clinton email scandal after seizing Anthony Weiner’s computer during an investigation of Weiner’s alleged texting to a fifteen-year-old girl. Weiner is married but separated from Clinton’s former chief of staff Huma Abedin. Comey said the FBI would investigate the newly discovered emails to determine if they contained classified data.
• On October 31, 2016 MSNBC reported that Comey had blocked the FBI from signing off on a report by U.S. Intelligence agencies that the Russians were behind the WikiLeaks dumps of Clinton Campaign Manager Joh Podesta’s email. Comey reportedly blocked the release because it was too close to the election. As MSNBC reported, their source stated “some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday.”
• On Tuesday November 1, 2016 the FBI posted on its website 129 pages of files on Bill Clinton’s controversial 2001 last minute pardon of financier Marc Rich. The FBI claims this was a mechanical functioning of the Freedom of Information Act response mechanism, and the documents were not posted to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
• The FBI has been leaking like a sieve with highly critical leaks of Clinton. According to published reports, Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation out of fear that they would be leaked anyway, and to stave off a mass resignation of FBI agents.
Comey flouted two Justice Department policies: commenting on an ongoing investigation, and doing so in a manner that could affect an election. “We now have real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” wrote Republican Jamie Gorelick, a former Justice Department official, in the Washington Post. “Perhaps worst of all, it is happening on the eve of a presidential election. It is antithetical to the interests of justice, putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.”
Trump seized on
Not unexpectedly, Trump seized upon Comey’s reopening of the investigation to lambast Clinton as guilty of all sorts of sins. The campaign, which had been heavily trending towards Clinton, immediately began to trend towards Trump. States such as New Hampshire and Nevada, once considered solidly blue, are trending to Trump.
Clinton’s campaign has been putting a brave front on recent developments, saying they expected the polls to tighten during the past week, that early voting trends favor the Democratic nominee, and that the electoral map demographics are in favor of Clinton. But unless something dramatic happens during the next six days, the FBI will bear the responsibility for electing Donald Trump President of the United States.