Despite laying out a clear case that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been “extremely careless” with classified information on a private email server, FBI Director James Comey has appeared to be a rock, never budging in his decision to not recommend an indictment of Clinton.
However, according to author Ed Klein, Comey has been suffering from the wounds he has since come to realize he inflicted on his agency.
In a column for the Daily Mail, Klein portrayed Comey’s decision to inform Congress about the new phase of the FBI’s investigation into the Democratic presidential candidate as his chance at professional redemption. Friday, Comey told Congress the investigation was reopened due to newly discovered evidence. That evidence has since been revealed to be 650,000 emails found on the computer of disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Klein said that the July announcement that Clinton would not be indicted proved to be a watershed moment for Comey.
“The atmosphere at the FBI has been toxic ever since Jim announced last July that he wouldn’t recommend an indictment against Hillary,” Klein wrote, quoting a source close to Comey.
“Some people, including department heads, stopped talking to Jim, and even ignored his greetings when they passed him in the hall,” Klein quoted the source as saying. “They felt that he betrayed them and brought disgrace on the bureau by letting Hillary off with a slap on the wrist.”
As Comey defended the FBI in public, in private he was dealing with agents who were quitting the agency due to the results of the Clinton probe.
“He’s been ignoring the resignation letters in the hope that he could find a way of remedying the situation,” said the source, saying that Comey “jumped at the excuse to reopen the investigation.”
“He talks about the damage that he’s done to himself and the institution (the FBI), and how he’s been shunned by the men and women who he admires and work for him. It’s taken a tremendous toll on him,” Klein quoted the source as saying. “It shattered his ego. He looks like he’s aged 10 years in the past four months.”
Comey went against the will of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in sharing with Congress the fact that the Clinton probe was alive once again.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that Comey, who had told Lynch of his plan to tell Congress about the Clinton probe — was told by her aides that “we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election.”
The Post reported that, according to a Justice Department official it did not name, Comey fully understood what he was doing.
“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is now operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”
[from an article by Jack Davis published by WESTERN JOURNALISM]
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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis