May 9, 2017

USA TODAY: James Comey’s Firing Was Inevitable:

How the mighty have fallen. In March, Comey was hailed as “the most powerful person in Washington.” But those who are tagged “most powerful” have a funny way of quickly being shown up, particularly when they serve at the pleasure of the president. In Comey’s case, his power supposedly was based on his ongoing investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, an investigation which has turned up nothing of great importance, certainly nothing to substantiate charges of Russia “hacking the election.”

In fact, Comey had been a dead man walking for some time. He was a director without a constituency. He had tried to strike a balance in a sharply divided political environment and wound up alienating both sides. He had to go.

Democrats blame him for Hillary Clinton’s election loss. Just last week Hillary Clinton said if the election were held October 27 she would be the president – that is, the day before Comey’s dramatic note to Congress that he had reopened the FBI’s investigation into her alleged mishandling of classified information through her bootleg email server.

Then two days before the election Comey said “never mind.” The Bureau had hastily reviewed the 49,000 potentially relevant emails it had found on a laptop owned by disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, and nothing there changed its conclusions from the previous July when he had called out Mrs. Clinton for lying but did not recommend prosecution.

Whether this rollercoaster ride had an impact on the election is one question, but Comey’s seemingly erratic behavior so close to an election was quite another. I was at a meeting with some senior members of the law enforcement community when Comey backed off the investigation and they expressed utter bewilderment at what he was doing. It went beyond how this would affect Comey’s career or his reputation; he was potentially tarnishing the Bureau itself. And for all this Comey said he had no regrets.

Read the whole thing.