Former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) owes FBI Director James Comey an apology. In fact, the entire Democratic Party, their allies, and other progressives owe the man an apology. Weeks after Donald Trump’s upset win over Hillary Clinton, the respected leader of the FBI was dragged through the mud, accused of being a partisan agent who sunk Clinton’s presidential hopes. For Reid, it was all Comey’s fault, telling CNN "I'll say singlehandedly, had he not written that letter a week or so before the election, she would have won and we would have picked up two more Senate seats.”
Comey had issued a letter to Congress saying that the bureau would be reviewing new emails found on the laptop of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top aide, which were discovered in a separate probe by the FBI. Her husband, Anthony Weiner, shared that laptop and the FBI was investigating him over allegations that he had inappropriate sexual interactions with a minor. It turned out nothing new was discovered, but Democrats railed about the timing of the disclosure. Either way, Comey was sunk. In either outcome, he was going to look like a partisan hack. Release them now and Democrats will go after him. Release this development after the election; Republicans would go ballistic, accusing him of sitting on new evidence relating to Clinton’s email usage.
Yet, Newsweek is saying that Comey wanted to write an op-ed about the Russian interference into the 2016 election, but the Obama administration vetoed it. If he had been given the green light, Comey’s op-ed would have been published in the summer of 2016:
Well before the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence accused the Russian government of tampering with the U.S. election in an October 7 statement, Comey pitched the idea of writing an op-ed about the Russian campaign during a meeting in the White House Situation Room in June or July.
“He had a draft of it or an outline. He held up a piece of paper in a meeting and said, ‘I want to go forward. What do people think of this?’” says a source with knowledge of the meeting, which included Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson and the national security adviser Susan Rice.
But many in the room didn’t like the idea, and White House officials thought the announcement should be a coordinated message backed by multiple agencies, the source says. “An op-ed doesn’t have the same stature. It comes from one person.”
The op-ed would not have mentioned whether the FBI was investigating Donald Trump’s campaign workers or others close to him for links to the Russians’ interference in the election, a second source with knowledge of the request tells Newsweek. Comey would likely have tried to publish the op-ed in The New York Times, and it would have included much of the same information as the bombshell declassified intelligence report released January 6, which said Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to influence the presidential election, the source says.
Russia did have a concerted interference campaign that included the use of state-funded media and social media trolls, but this is far from the hack allegations that have sent the Left on the neo-McCarthyite warpath. If this election was truly hacked, then Russia would have had to mess with the vote totals. That did not happen.
It also circles back to the Axios story, which noted how the Clinton team was actually more infuriated with Obama than Russia or James Comey for being too cautious about releasing information about possible Russian interference. Maybe the Obama White House thought that the electorate wouldn’t back Trump; that the coalition that put Obama over the top in 2008 and 2012 would side with her. Everything would be fine. Nope. Trump won and so began the mad dash to spread as much intelligence the Obama White House knew about the Russians throughout government before Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Were the guns loaded, but Obama didn’t fire because he believed so much, like most on the Left, that Trump would never be elected president? Some could argue he wasn’t serious about Clinton, but Obama did take unprecedented steps in terms of campaigning for her that suggests otherwise. He’s a smart man. Clinton as his successor would be best, even if he didn’t agree with her on everything. In the end, the Democrats just came up short.