^ Director Comey of the FBI : does not look happy, nor should he
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Someone who uses twitter a lot today tweeted the following : “this election will be the first time that the KKK, the KGB, and the FBI all favored the same candidate.”
That’s a bit much — the entire FBI does not have a candidate — but it’s not as far off the mark a sit should be. The New York office of the FBI has clearly injected itself into the election, in clear violation of the Hatch Act, leaking confidential information and goading sympathetic cable TV media to suggest that the candidate this FBI office opposes is under serious investigation.
Before I continue, it might be smart forb me to quote relevant portions of said Hatch Act :
“(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), an employee may take an active part in political management or in political campaigns, except an employee may not—
use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election;
(2) knowingly solicit, accept, or receive a political contribution from any person, unless such person is—
a member of the same Federal labor organization as defined under section 7103(4) of this title or a Federal employee organization which as of the date of enactment of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 had a multicandidate political committee (as defined under section 315(a)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(4)));
not a subordinate employee; and
the solicitation is for a contribution to the multicandidate political committee (as defined under section 315(a)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(4))) 1 of such Federal labor organization as defined under section 7103(4) of this title or a Federal employee organization which as of the date of the enactment of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 had a multicandidate political committee (as defined under section 315(a)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(4))); 1″
Section (a)(1) is most germane here. “An employee (of the Federal Government) may not use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” Can there be any doubt that the leaking, or dissemination, of information about investigations concerning Hillary Clinton or her family Foundation was official and intended to influence the outcome of this election ? The question answers itself.
The FBI is also said to be investigating various activities of Clinton’s opponent, including his connections to Russia and its government, and to that government’s many interferences in this election. Yet no FBI information about these investigation s has been released; indeed, Director Comey stated that it would be an improper interference were his agency to do so.
That statement should stun you; It certainly stuns me. So it’s a breach of agency rules to disseminate confidential investigation material for one candidate but OK to disseminate it for another ?
At the time that Director Comey forwarded his now famous letter to eight Congressional Committee Chairmen, he seemed to be interfering purposely in the election : Senator Harry Reid rightly responded that Comey might be violating the Hatch Act. Now, after all that we have learned about the actions of NY FBI agents, it appears quite differently : that Comey sent his letter when ne did — 11 days before voting day — in order to forestall its matters being leaked by the NY FBI office.
Doing so, he actually provide Hillary Clinton a favor : with 11 days left, she and her defenders had sufficient time to respond in full and to have the voting public judge of the matter well ahead of election day. Had the matters been leaked, they might have come later, leaving no time for response. as it is, the BNY FBUI office released other material that induced one cable TV reporter to assert — wrongly — that an indictment was coming. That reporter has since fully retracted what h called “a mistake,” and it has also been shown that the so-called investigation in the hands of the NY FBUI office is nothing much at all, if anything. Comey’s letter enabled the campaigns to discuss and dispose of the damage intended by the NY FBI agents.
That said, let’s say what needs be said : even if the FBI has a serious investigation going on — not a :”nothing burger” — and even if indictments are planned, as in some FBI cases they are — the subject of said investigation is entitled to full, uncompromised confidentiality : because the term “under FBI investigation” is extremely prejudicial.
To sum up : the hatch Act exists for a very important purpose. If democracy is to work; if the voters are to have confidence that authority is impartial and not inclined to pursue enemies; if we are to be a society of laws and not of naked, anarchic power, then Federal employees MUST honor their oaths and, whatever their personal political opinion, never, ever inflict that opinion on the performance of their oaths of office.
Anything to the contrary is a gross violation of our basic democrat
ic rules. I hope that after the electi9on is over, the DOJ takes action to sweep the NY FBI office clean of those who have compromised their oaths so gravely.
— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere