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Tonight President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Coney as karma moves swiftly into action. Last week, Comey lied to a Senate committee when he stated that “hundreds and thousands” of emails containing classified information had been forwarded from top Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s top aide, to the home computer she shared with, Anthony Weiner, her husband. In what seems like karma for Comey, it soon came to light that he drastically overstated the number of emails, for an undetermined reason, in his testimony.
Former presidential hopeful Clinton laid a huge portion of blame on Comey for losing the 2016 election. As karma moves swiftly into action, the former director found himself on the losing end of his FBI career today. When speaking Comey’s actions, Robert Cattanach, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney, had a lot to say. Not only did he previously work as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice as well as special counsel to the Secretary of the Navy. As a closer follower of Comey’s dealings, Cattanach had this to say:
The hole Director Comey dug for himself started as an offhand closing remark in his testimony exonerating Clinton from criminal wrongdoing (after excoriating her for shoddy cyber hygiene). In what seemed at the time to be a throw-away closing to the Congressional Committee after advising them that he was ending the investigation, he promised to advise lawmakers if he came across evidence that would cause him to reopen the investigation.
Normally, the FBI is very secretive about the status of its investigations. However, the investigation into Clinton’s emails in the run-up to the election was anything but normal. In an unprecedented departure from standard practice, Comey advised Congress that he was closing the investigation because there was no evidence that ‘any reasonable prosecutor’ could rely on to justify criminal charges. Setting aside for a moment the out-of-process preemption of prosecutorial discretion by the head of an investigative agency, he then gratuitously added that he would alert Congress if ‘anything changes.’ The departure from standard protocol then snowballed when Huma Abedin’s emails involving classified information were discovered on another computer she shared with her husband Anthony Weiner.
If Comey had not promised Congress that he would ‘get back to them if anything changed’ he would almost certainly have been safe in relying on standard FBI policy not to comment on his decision to reopen the investigation. Nevertheless, once he took himself out of that protective cone of silence, the director was doomed. If he stayed quiet, he would break his promise to Congress. If he came forward, the bombshell revelation could affect the election. He was in a no-win situation, all of his own makings, starting with an ill-advised initial disclosure to Congress that ended with what he surely thought was an innocuous “let us stay in touch line.” His latest flub made it easy for the President to do something that arguably should have been done before President Obama left office.
Some say what goes up comes down or what a person sows they also reap and others claim karma has a clubfoot, but always follows through. Today, karma moved in swiftly for Comey who lost his job. His misstatement further muddies the conversation about his exact role in the 2016 election, but it also confirms that this is a bad day for the former director. What his future looks like is unclear, but as of today, James Comey was fired as karma moved swiftly into action.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
CNN: James Comey just made a big mistake on Hillary Clinton’s emails
Interview: Robert Cattanach, Dorsey & Whitney Law Firm
Independent: FBI Director James Comey ‘made false claim’ about Hillary Clinton’s aide while under oath
Washington Post: President Trump fires FBI Director Comey
Top Image Courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Rich Girard’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License