The Inspector General of the Justice Department announced Thursday that his office will investigate claims that FBI Director James Comey improperly handled the agency’s probe into Hillary Clinton in the months and weeks before the election. In the statement, Michael Horowitz made it clear that this was an investigation sparked by the concerns of Democrats in Congress, many of whom are blaming Comey for Hillary’s defeat.
“The review will not substitute the OIG’s judgment for the judgments made by the FBI or the Department regarding the substantive merits of investigative or prosecutive decisions,” the statement said.
In other words, this isn’t about whether or not the FBI let Hillary Clinton off the hook for crimes she should have been prosecuted for. This is only about the press conference Comey held last summer where he laid out the evidence against Clinton and the letter he sent to Congress in October, which Hillary’s people say turned the election for Trump.
“This is highly encouraging and to be expected given Director Comey’s drastic deviation from Justice Department protocol,” said Clinton’s campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon. “A probe of this sort, however long it takes to conduct, is utterly necessary in order to take the first step to restore the FBI’s reputation as a non-partisan institution.”
Comey, however, did not seem concerned about the inquiry. In a statement, the FBI director said, “I am grateful to the Department of Justice’s IG for taking on this review. He is professional and independent and the FBI will cooperate fully with him and his office.
“I hope very much he is able to share his conclusions and observations with the public because everyone will benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency regarding this matter,” Comey said.
There’s nothing wrong with an impartial investigation, especially as it pertains to the Clinton case. In fact, Republicans should generally be excited to see this inquiry get underway; lord knows we have about a thousand questions ourselves.
Unfortunately, this investigation isn’t going to get into the meat of the matter. In fact, there’s no indication that the OIG will even look into the meeting Attorney General Loretta Lynch had with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona. If you’re not going to address the biggest, ripest piece of tainted fruit in the garden, why bother with the rest of this? We’re really going to spend all of this time and money just to find out why James Comey was really, really mean in his July press conference?
How’s about we find out, instead, why Comey and the DOJ failed to prosecute Clinton for crimes she clearly committed.