Is Clinton’s email case evidence of a ‘rigged system’?

(AP)

In a speech in North Carolina Tuesday night, Donald Trump charged that the FBI’s recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton was the result of a “rigged system” produced by a “bribe” to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the theory being that Clinton had promised to reappoint Lynch in return for Lynch offering protection against prosecution.

Other GOP leaders also rushed to challenge the integrity of the recommendation. House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed that the decision by FBI Director James Comey “defies explanation” and confirms that that Clinton “lives above the law.” He also announced that the House would investigate the process by which Comey reached his decision, a decision echoed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley, who suggested the FBI director “was pulling punches” on Clinton’s behalf.

“If she were a Republican, she would have been indicted by now,” U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas said.

Let’s be clear what is being alleged here, because it’s important:

Comey is a registered Republican and experienced career prosecutor. He was first appointed as a U.S. attorney by President George W. Bush, who later promoted him to deputy attorney general. He was appointed to a 10-year term as FBI director in 2013 and was confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 93-1, indicating broad, bipartisan confidence in his abilities and integrity.¹ (Sen. Rand Paul was the only naysayer.) Throughout his career, Comey has been known in Washington as someone who is immune to pressure and who calls things as he sees them. That’s why he has the job he has, and prior to Tuesday’s announcement a lot of Republicans had expressed confidence that he would do the right thing.

However, if this is rigged, as Trump and others now allege, if the decision “defies explanation” despite Comey’s very clear explanation, if Lynch somehow pressured Comey into this decision, then we are forced to conclude that Comey’s reputation for integrity is false. His critics are not only saying that Comey folded under the heat, they are suggesting that his statement Tuesday was a complete and utter fabrication.

When Comey told the American people that it wasn’t a close call because “no reasonable prosecutor” would have filed charges, when he says that he could find no precedent for someone being prosecuted in a similar situation, when he says point-blank that “the investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently” and “no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear,” when he says the FBI operated “in an entirely apolitical and professional way,” Trump and other GOP critics are saying that is all a lie created as a political coverup.

And it’s fair in such a situation to ask: Upon what evidence do they make such a serious claim? The fact that Comey’s conclusion was politically inconvenient to Republicans desperate for an electoral lifeline, that it dashed conservative fantasies about seeing Clinton in orange prison garb? If that’s evidence of anything, it’s evidence of the GOP’s divorce from reality. The truth is that there is no evidence even hinting that Comey was subject to political meddling, let alone that he bowed to that pressure. (His harsh public criticism of Clinton’s judgment makes it still harder to sustain that argument of favoritism.)

It also demonstrates how cavalierly and routinely our leaders now undermine public confidence in government and in those who attempt to function honorably within that government, just for the sake of a small political advantage. Differences in judgment and viewpoint are no longer treated as such, instead becoming excuses to condemn the whole governmental edifice as corrupt.  And we are reaping the consequences of that cynicism.

———————————

¹Speaking on the floor of the Senate in 2013, Grassley called Comey “a fine choice” as FBI director and lauded him for his “refreshing” candor during his confirmation hearings.

Reader Comments 0

2157 comments
POV1948
POV1948

The issue is difference of treatment.  Would a mid-level executive branch employee who was egregiously careless with classified information and failed to maintain government records appropriately be treated in the same way?  Comey, Bookman and everyone else knows that the answer is no.

William Graham
William Graham

Colin Powell, Condi and KKKarl Rove all did similar emailing. Hillary is the one being discriminated against!

John Washington
John Washington

Yes. The "rigged" part is how the GOP has held investigation after investigation after investigation on this, and how they are grilling the FBI director for daring to claim there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Mario DePaoli
Mario DePaoli

Well of course it is and this rag is part of the fix!!

Deborah An Moore
Deborah An Moore

And guess what the 'human sacrifices' are: Police shootings.

Margie Hardy
Margie Hardy

If Hillary was a republican, republicans would look the other way. Sweep it under the rug.

Perry Barton
Perry Barton

Right-O. The FBI Director is a Republican. Further, the team that did the investigation were all FBI, who tend to be more conservative than the rest of the population. They wouldn't rat out the investigation if they were forced to rig it?!?!

Brenda Hall
Brenda Hall

We should build a shrine to Nixon based on what she has done! He was run out of office, but Killary gets a pass?

Kandy Flores
Kandy Flores

Oh please if she were a Republican would have never been investigated.

Hector R. Solis
Hector R. Solis

Hahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahaha please I can't stop laughing off this IDIOTS.

Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson

Uggh no its just politics. She is not squeaky clean nor is any other politician. I can't understand the hate for this women. It's silly.

ptcrunner
ptcrunner

..and yet these conservative Republican flat earth theorists are calling for another multi-million dollar investigation boondoggle, rather than invest in infrastructure, education and health care.

Mustang100
Mustang100

Rigged system? Politics IS a rigged system, Jay. It all depends on which party is in power.

As for myself, I believe the U.S. political system has morphed into two classes, not parties: the Working Class and Political Class.

Trump is campaigning on that belief too. His own RINO led party is still trying to trip him up.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@Mustang100 Had the rigging been sound, Trump never would have gotten this close to being a nominee.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

SHEETZ of the (of course) Trumpy McTrumpstain variety

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Trump can't stay on message, and that's a problem

'YA THINK..........

The news gods delivered a gift to Donald Trump -- FBI Director James Comey's rebuke to Hillary Clinton over her email practices -- and he squandered it in the span of 24 hours. As NBC's Ali Vitali and Shaquille Brewster report, Trump last night began his rally in Cincinnati, OH with a point-by-point takedown of Clinton and the emails, but then the speech devolved into a conversation about almost everything else.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/first-read-trump-can-t-stay-message-it-s-problem-n605171

The thing about Donald? He craves adulation. If staying on point doesn't garner applause, he reverts to what has. 

honested
honested

@FIGMO2 

Totally unqualified for Elected Office in the United States.....

This ain't no for-profit beauty pageant.

td1234
td1234

@honested @FIGMO2 Oh like a person that has been proven to openly and blatantly just bald face lie to the American people is qualified to hold elected office.  

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@PaulinNH @FIGMO2

Apparently a lot of leftists liked Saddam too seein's how they wanted to leave him in power.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@FIGMO2 @PaulinNH Personally, I know exactly zero that ever expressed that. Left leaners do not generally have the zest for invasions and wars that the Righties do, particularly when paid for with tax cuts and borrowed money.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@td1234 @honested @FIGMO2 It's all relative. Trump is truthful or mostly truthful 9% of the time, whereas Hillary is at 51%. Glass half full or 91% empty.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@PaulinNH I hate going to the dentist but would rather do that than meet with trump myself. Whew!

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@PaulinNH,

Trump mentoned Portman yesterday. .I'm sure Portman didn't like that

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

When FBI Director James B. Comey stepped to the lectern todeliver his remarks about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, he violated time-honored Justice Department practices for how such matters are to be handled, set a dangerous precedent for future investigations and committed a gross abuse of his own power.

..

He recklessly speculated that Clinton’s email system could have been hacked, even while admitting he had no evidence that it was. This conjecture, which has been the subject of much debate and heated allegations, puts Clinton in the impossible position of having to prove a negative in response.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/james-comeys-abuse-of-power/2016/07/06/7799d39e-4392-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html?postshare=3151467857521797&tid=ss_tw

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Donnie_Pinko  He even claimed that the people who could have hacked are so good that they would not even leave a trail. 

honested
honested

@PaulinNH @Donnie_Pinko 

Despite the fact that repeated attempts and successes of hacks by 'our biggest trading partner' in the east can easily be identified down to the desk.

Comey can quit with the polishing an just stick to 'we have no evidence and no reasonable prosecutor would proceed'.

Peachs
Peachs

Ryan pulls out a constitution yesterday, for a gimmick he uses, to pretend it has been broken. 


Part of that constitution is the law, and Hils followed the law, end of story. 

Tan Nott
Tan Nott

If she was a Republican the investigation would have never happened.\U0001f649\U0001f648\U0001f64a

monty1
monty1

Article about Hilariously and people are discussing Fox and I moved the goal post?  Have it numbtards. I'll look for more rational discussions elsewhere.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@monty1 Don't let the door hit you in the face on the way out.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF Well, that just proves whites are a protected species.