Back in May, I posted about the possibility that former FBI Director James Comey had decided before the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information that he was going to do absolutely nothing. (See Did James Comey Deliberately Throw The Hillary Clinton Investigation?) The post was based on this selection from a New Yorker profile of Comey:
As the inquiry neared its end, Comey, who had closely monitored it from the start, requested summaries of more than thirty government prosecutions involving mishandling of classified information. He waded through the records, seeking to understand the cases’ rationale and how they had been resolved. In the end, he agreed with the investigators’ unanimous conclusion: Clinton should not face criminal charges…
Comey had his own ideas. Unbeknownst to his Justice Department colleagues, Comey had resolved to proceed alone with the announcement. Since May, he had been holding a parallel series of meetings with top F.B.I. confidants to thrash through his plan. He would publicly announce—and explain—the Clinton decision without Lynch at his side. “We had discussions for months about what this looked like,” Michael Steinbach, who retired as the F.B.I.’s executive assistant director for national security in February, 2017, said. “This, for us, was the best course of action, given the political situation that we were in—for us to do it independently.”
Now, in a post by Townhall’s Katie Pavelich, it looks like Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley has arrived at the same conclusion: CONFIRMED: Comey Decided He Wasn’t Going to Refer Hillary For Prosecution Long Before FBI Investigation Was Over. (Full disclosure, RedState and Townhall are part of the same media group and, yes, I’m shamelessly sucking up by linking and using a pullquote.)
According to new transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Thursday afternoon, former FBI Director James Comey made the decision not to refer then Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before ever interviewing key witnesses. Members of the Committee allege Comey made the decision months before FBI agents were finished with the criminal investigation of her mishandling classified information during her time as Secretary of State.
“According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts,” the letter, signed by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Committee member Lindsey Graham states. “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
“It is unclear whether the FBI agents actually investigating the case were aware that Mr. Comey had already decided on the investigation’s outcome while their work was ongoing. However, it appears that the answer to that question may be underneath some of the extensive redactions that the Department made to the transcripts,” the letter continues.
What was speculation in May has become fact in August. The next time someone tells you that Comey is some kind of paragon, laugh in their face.