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I had intended to use this final column before the presidential election to explain at length why I cannot vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and plan to vote for Gary Johnson for president. In a nutshell, big government is our biggest problem. It thrives on more debt, more taxes, more regulations, more war, a secretive deep state and less personal freedom. Both Clinton and Trump would grow the government. Only Johnson would shrink it.

One of the most dangerous tendencies of big government is the generation of a police state — wherein laws, rules and procedures are primarily written and can often be bent to aid law enforcement when it is encroaching on our personal freedoms. We saw a terrifying example of that last week when FBI Director James Comey behaved as if he were his most infamous predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover.

Here is the back story.

Late last week, in an effort to redeem himself from the consequences of having ignored a mountain of evidence of guilt against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last summer, Comey told Congress in a cryptic letter that the FBI would resume investigating her emails based upon the belief that more of them may be located in the laptop of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner. Weiner is the alleged sexual predator who remains the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest aides. Abedin backed up all her emails onto the laptop that she and her husband shared.

At the time he sent his Friday letter, Comey had not yet seen the contents of the Weiner laptop because the search warrant authorizing FBI agents to access its contents was not signed until Sunday. If he saw something incriminating before he wrote his letter, he saw it unlawfully; yet his duty was to bring what he saw to the Department of Justice, for which he works, not to hint about it publicly to Congress.

Comey’s progress report to Congress is prohibited by the internal regulations of the DOJ and the FBI — and by the canons of legal ethics that regulate lawyers. Comey had no obligation to send the letter at any time; moreover, sending it last week was a direct violation of DOJ and FBI rules that prohibit all public announcements about candidates for public office within 60 days of Election Day.

Comey told FBI staffers early this week that he sent the letter because he felt duty-bound to members of a congressional committee to whom he had given a promise that he would keep them informed of the status of the email investigation. That was a troublesome promise because its compliance violated other duties imposed upon Comey. Worse than making a promise and not keeping it is making a promise that should not be kept.

ORDER IT NOW

The genesis of all this was Comey’s unprecedented news conference on July 5, at which he announced that no charges would be filed against Clinton because no prosecutor would take the case. That was not an announcement for him to make. The FBI’s job is to gather facts and present them to the DOJ, not to make legal evaluations. He made his announcement when he did to head off the behavior of some of his agents who were seeking Clinton’s medical records, unlawfully, from the National Security Agency to ascertain the gravity of her head injury — an injury she posited during her FBI interrogation as the reason for her professed memory loss.

I have argued that Comey’s July 5 decision was dead wrong; there is a mountain of evidence with which to indict and convict Clinton on espionage charges. Yet it should have been presented to a grand jury — it was not — rather than at a news conference. The July 5 announcement was bizarre in that it not only exonerated Clinton but also described the quantity and quality of the evidence against her. This insulted the agents who worked on the case and produced the lowest collective FBI morale since Watergate. If Comey sent his Friday letter to address the problems he caused by his July 5 announcement, he did the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.

But perhaps the gravest of Comey’s violations is that of the constitutional guarantee of due process. The essence of due process is notice and fairness. How exquisitely unfair of Comey to say, in effect, “We have something that warrants investigation of you, yet we don’t know its significance, so we can’t say what it is.” This is reminiscent of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial,” in which the lead character is being pursued for a year on unnamed charges, against which he cannot defend himself.

In his play “A Man for All Seasons,” Robert Bolt shows Sir Thomas More arguing with William Roper, a colleague, who suggests that government lawbreaking can be justified for the greater good, particularly if the target is the devil (which Trump has called Clinton). More demolishes that argument in a few now iconic lines: “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”

To my friends who have rejoiced in James Comey’s letter, please take warning that, as More accurately predicted, the tables can be turned. If there is any moral lesson in all this, it is that the history of human freedom consists of paying careful attention to constitutional guarantees and legal protections, no matter the reputation of the accused.

Copyright 2016 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton 
34 Comments to "J. Edgar Comey"
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  1. Comey was in this position because the corrupted AAAG (Affirmative Action Attorney General) explicitly renounced her responsibility to make a legal evaluation and deferred to him. The prospect of new evidence gave him the opportunity to make a different evaluation, and he took it (yes, selfishly, to save his own reputation both within the FBI and outside it).

    Read More
    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    Comey didn't save a damned thing, his reputation least of all. He can be/is corrupted himself. You can't fix corrupt in his position.
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  2. krollchem says:

    The statement “At the time he sent his Friday letter, Comey had not yet seen the contents of the Weiner laptop because the search warrant authorizing FBI agents to access its contents was not signed until Sunday.” presumes that there are not other ways to determine what was on the laptop.

    Comey could have been provided with the laptop contents via the NSA data storage farms. I am surprised that Congress has not availed themselves of this source!

    Read More
    • Replies: @David
    Yeah, that point doesn't make any sense to me. The FBI had the right to enter a private residence and remove a bunch of electronic devices but not the right to look at them? Why would they wait weeks after the supposed crime to seek court permission to look at the only things that are going to contain evidence?
    , @CMC
    Or the NYPD?
  3. whorefinder says: • Website

    Rejoicing? No, Comey’s just playing CYA after his July 5th announcement made the FBI look like the Cheka or Stasi or KGB: merely the secret police to those in power.

    Comey’s realized Trump’s going to win, and wants to cover himself quickly. Hence this reversal. He’s a rat off a sinking Clinton ship, nothing more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    Rejoicing? No, Comey’s just playing CYA after his July 5th announcement made the FBI look like the Cheka or Stasi or KGB: merely the secret police to those in power.

    Comey’s realized Trump’s going to win, and wants to cover himself quickly. Hence this reversal. He’s a rat off a sinking Clinton ship, nothing more.

     

    This is right. If the DJT trend continues there are plenty more getting ready to exit.
  4. David says:
    @krollchem
    The statement "At the time he sent his Friday letter, Comey had not yet seen the contents of the Weiner laptop because the search warrant authorizing FBI agents to access its contents was not signed until Sunday." presumes that there are not other ways to determine what was on the laptop.

    Comey could have been provided with the laptop contents via the NSA data storage farms. I am surprised that Congress has not availed themselves of this source!

    Yeah, that point doesn’t make any sense to me. The FBI had the right to enter a private residence and remove a bunch of electronic devices but not the right to look at them? Why would they wait weeks after the supposed crime to seek court permission to look at the only things that are going to contain evidence?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There was so much classified information in the emails, the FBI had to turn the computer off and take the time to obtain additional security clearances for a large number of agents in order to review the 500k emails.

    Now that the NY FBI and the NY US Atty general are conducting the investigation instead of Justice in DC, they can flip Weiner and Huma because they are looking at many many years in jail.
    , @Jim Christian
    They had that laptop in the pursuit of Weiner's sexual-proclivities investigation. They found the other stuff relating to Clinton/Huma email issues incidental to that. Before they could take the proverbial bite of the apple on the second issue, Hillary/Huma/emails, they had to get the warrant to look into THAT. Nothing they saw before the warrant is admissible, but be sure that they'll own up to seeing nothing but the metadata indicating the presence of evidence, rather than the evidence itself. As to the matter of security protocols, they were busy as beavers getting people cleared to see the possible violations. They're covered, done and done. All we need to see now is how fast they come out with information to the public as to whether this is hay, or feathers, feathers being nothing. Now that we know, we should have a notion before election day which is which. Exoneration or prosecution, we need that before Tuesday. Nothing else is fair or proper.

    Pretty simple stuff this, as a layman, I see nothing improper. As has been said, Hillary Clinton set the table in 2008 or whatever, when they set up the servers. Comey didn't hold a press conference, he sent a letter, expecting or not, that it would remain confidential. Protocols, wishing and wanting didn't fit this situation. Comey is still corrupt, but this shit here, he could not cover up/ignore/obfuscate, no matter what the Judge-of-Napolitano says. I admire the judge, but I'd debate him all day on this.

  5. David says:

    Why should an internal policy of the FBI override Congress’s right to oversee the activities of the executive branch?

    Read More
  6. CMC says:
    @krollchem
    The statement "At the time he sent his Friday letter, Comey had not yet seen the contents of the Weiner laptop because the search warrant authorizing FBI agents to access its contents was not signed until Sunday." presumes that there are not other ways to determine what was on the laptop.

    Comey could have been provided with the laptop contents via the NSA data storage farms. I am surprised that Congress has not availed themselves of this source!

    Or the NYPD?

    Read More
  7. I cannot vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and plan to vote for Gary Johnson

    ‘I fear for the country’ if Trump wins, Bill Weld tells Rachel Maddow

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-02/libertarian-candidate-endorses-hillary

    Your candidate is a stalking horse for Hillary. You have a firm grip on what ought to be but you are blind to what is.

    Read More
  8. Gary Johnson is an unqualified hothead who knows so little about the world but certainly knows where his bong is. Just the fact that he would lose his s*** over the words “illegal immigrant” shows us who he is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Krollchem
    I too am disappointed that Gary Johnson didn't know where Aleppo was. Even more disappointing was that Hillary doesn't know where Mosul is (She thought it was on the border with Syria). Then there is the whole NYT editorial staff who do not know the capital of Syria, who controls Raqqa, and East Aleppo (clue, it is not the capital of Syria).

    p.s. just for fun ask any politician where Saker island is and what is its importance... Too bad our elite are not burdened by knowledge.
  9. Another column by a hack connected to Jew controlled Fox News. Trump wins the future of the white race looks better. Ever notice how all the A-Holes that will not discuss white genocide live in nice homes, with nice people living next door? 14/88

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ironfist666
    Fox News is a lot like Patrick Buchanan, only tells you about 1/2 of the story and will not point the finger at their Jew Masters. Heard Orrin Hatch on the Hannity Radio show the other day and wanted to throw up hearing these two douche bags discuss why Romney refuses to endorse the Glorious Leader Trump. Acting like they do not know that Romney is a Ne0-con that answers to Jews. Traitors will perish.
    , @Hibernian
    Judge Nap is the Anti-Hack.
  10. MEexpert says:

    Voting for Gary Johnson is wasting your vote. It achieves or proves nothing. Gary Johnson has proven himself to be an utterly unqualified person.

    Read More
  11. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @David
    Yeah, that point doesn't make any sense to me. The FBI had the right to enter a private residence and remove a bunch of electronic devices but not the right to look at them? Why would they wait weeks after the supposed crime to seek court permission to look at the only things that are going to contain evidence?

    There was so much classified information in the emails, the FBI had to turn the computer off and take the time to obtain additional security clearances for a large number of agents in order to review the 500k emails.

    Now that the NY FBI and the NY US Atty general are conducting the investigation instead of Justice in DC, they can flip Weiner and Huma because they are looking at many many years in jail.

    Read More
  12. @landlubber
    Comey was in this position because the corrupted AAAG (Affirmative Action Attorney General) explicitly renounced her responsibility to make a legal evaluation and deferred to him. The prospect of new evidence gave him the opportunity to make a different evaluation, and he took it (yes, selfishly, to save his own reputation both within the FBI and outside it).

    Comey didn’t save a damned thing, his reputation least of all. He can be/is corrupted himself. You can’t fix corrupt in his position.

    Read More
  13. KenH says:

    Judge Napolitano believes Gary Johnson is a man of principle who will shrink the government? Senility may have set in with the dear judge. Not only does Gary Johnson know next to nothing about goings on in the Middle East but he’s just a hack who appears at the behest of special interest groups during election season to take votes away from one or the other candidates. If he were to ever get elected he would dutifully take orders from the Jewish lobby and other powerful special interest groups.

    Let’s not forget that the judge also believes the 14th amendment grants birthright citizenship to any and all who can sneak in to the USA and manage to drop an anchor baby or two (or ten).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Krollchem
    See comment #16. Idiots all around you. You cannot fix stupid.
  14. @David
    Yeah, that point doesn't make any sense to me. The FBI had the right to enter a private residence and remove a bunch of electronic devices but not the right to look at them? Why would they wait weeks after the supposed crime to seek court permission to look at the only things that are going to contain evidence?

    They had that laptop in the pursuit of Weiner’s sexual-proclivities investigation. They found the other stuff relating to Clinton/Huma email issues incidental to that. Before they could take the proverbial bite of the apple on the second issue, Hillary/Huma/emails, they had to get the warrant to look into THAT. Nothing they saw before the warrant is admissible, but be sure that they’ll own up to seeing nothing but the metadata indicating the presence of evidence, rather than the evidence itself. As to the matter of security protocols, they were busy as beavers getting people cleared to see the possible violations. They’re covered, done and done. All we need to see now is how fast they come out with information to the public as to whether this is hay, or feathers, feathers being nothing. Now that we know, we should have a notion before election day which is which. Exoneration or prosecution, we need that before Tuesday. Nothing else is fair or proper.

    Pretty simple stuff this, as a layman, I see nothing improper. As has been said, Hillary Clinton set the table in 2008 or whatever, when they set up the servers. Comey didn’t hold a press conference, he sent a letter, expecting or not, that it would remain confidential. Protocols, wishing and wanting didn’t fit this situation. Comey is still corrupt, but this shit here, he could not cover up/ignore/obfuscate, no matter what the Judge-of-Napolitano says. I admire the judge, but I’d debate him all day on this.

    Read More
  15. @AryanKinght
    Another column by a hack connected to Jew controlled Fox News. Trump wins the future of the white race looks better. Ever notice how all the A-Holes that will not discuss white genocide live in nice homes, with nice people living next door? 14/88

    Fox News is a lot like Patrick Buchanan, only tells you about 1/2 of the story and will not point the finger at their Jew Masters. Heard Orrin Hatch on the Hannity Radio show the other day and wanted to throw up hearing these two douche bags discuss why Romney refuses to endorse the Glorious Leader Trump. Acting like they do not know that Romney is a Ne0-con that answers to Jews. Traitors will perish.

    Read More
  16. Comey’s progress report to Congress is prohibited by the internal regulations of the DOJ and the FBI — and by the canons of legal ethics that regulate lawyers.

    Mr. Napolitano:

    Please provide the relevant textual language to supports the above assertions. Your interpretation is questionable.

    Read More
  17. Krollchem says:
    @Bragadocious
    Gary Johnson is an unqualified hothead who knows so little about the world but certainly knows where his bong is. Just the fact that he would lose his s*** over the words "illegal immigrant" shows us who he is.

    I too am disappointed that Gary Johnson didn’t know where Aleppo was. Even more disappointing was that Hillary doesn’t know where Mosul is (She thought it was on the border with Syria). Then there is the whole NYT editorial staff who do not know the capital of Syria, who controls Raqqa, and East Aleppo (clue, it is not the capital of Syria).

    p.s. just for fun ask any politician where Saker island is and what is its importance… Too bad our elite are not burdened by knowledge.

    Read More
  18. Krollchem says:
    @KenH
    Judge Napolitano believes Gary Johnson is a man of principle who will shrink the government? Senility may have set in with the dear judge. Not only does Gary Johnson know next to nothing about goings on in the Middle East but he's just a hack who appears at the behest of special interest groups during election season to take votes away from one or the other candidates. If he were to ever get elected he would dutifully take orders from the Jewish lobby and other powerful special interest groups.

    Let's not forget that the judge also believes the 14th amendment grants birthright citizenship to any and all who can sneak in to the USA and manage to drop an anchor baby or two (or ten).

    See comment #16. Idiots all around you. You cannot fix stupid.

    Read More
  19. Miro23 says:
    @whorefinder
    Rejoicing? No, Comey's just playing CYA after his July 5th announcement made the FBI look like the Cheka or Stasi or KGB: merely the secret police to those in power.

    Comey's realized Trump's going to win, and wants to cover himself quickly. Hence this reversal. He's a rat off a sinking Clinton ship, nothing more.

    Rejoicing? No, Comey’s just playing CYA after his July 5th announcement made the FBI look like the Cheka or Stasi or KGB: merely the secret police to those in power.

    Comey’s realized Trump’s going to win, and wants to cover himself quickly. Hence this reversal. He’s a rat off a sinking Clinton ship, nothing more.

    This is right. If the DJT trend continues there are plenty more getting ready to exit.

    Read More
  20. Hibernian says:
    @AryanKinght
    Another column by a hack connected to Jew controlled Fox News. Trump wins the future of the white race looks better. Ever notice how all the A-Holes that will not discuss white genocide live in nice homes, with nice people living next door? 14/88

    Judge Nap is the Anti-Hack.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stonehands
    Judge Nap is okay with Clitary appointing the next coupla SC Justices...
  21. “To my friends who have rejoiced in James Comey’s letter, please take warning that, as More accurately predicted, the tables can be turned.”

    This, of course, is a re-turning of the tables..

    Lynch’s meeting with the male Clinton criminal was the original turning: The criminal instructing the investigators.

    Read More
  22. iffen says:

    An excellent article by Mr. Napolitano.

    Director Comey has taken it upon himself to try and influence the outcome of this election. This would be considered exceptional in normal years. Coming as it does at a time when so-called journalists say that the election cannot be covered in an objective and impartial manner because doing so will help Trump, it is another proof that we can turn out the lights.

    Read More
  23. @Hibernian
    Judge Nap is the Anti-Hack.

    Judge Nap is okay with Clitary appointing the next coupla SC Justices…

    Read More
  24. Why does everyone ignore basic facts? Thousands of Clinton e-mails have been illegally withheld from Congress by Clinton and Obama’s FBI. Watch this recent short video of a Congressmen berating an FBI representative at a hearing for refusing to turn over e-mails and handing him a subpoena.

    It is obvious that these e-mails are not withheld because of their national security content, but revelations of illegal activities, corruption, and incompetence. Congressmen can read top secret information, but face criminal prosecution if they leak it. What if they leak information about criminal activity that is not related to national security? They might be prosecuted, but that would only draw more attention and is unlikely to result in a conviction.

    So his cover up is blown as his career FBI agents who he can’t fire will turn over all the e-mails full of evidence. So now he must “discover” new evidence and announce this before Congress gets the e-mails.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    Thanks for the link.
    Great clip.

    Rep Chaffetz did an excellent job dismantling the FBI rep's stonewalling.
  25. Flavius says:

    Looks to me like Comey played it straight down the middle. He informed his superiors that he would be informing their Congressional overseers of a change of circumstances affecting the investigation he had reported to them. He did as he had promised to do. If there is fault to be found, find it in Loretta Lynch, or possibly, in Obama, either of whom could have ordered him to stand down. Speculating as to any ulterior motive Comey may have had, is just that, an idle speculation in the service of one’s own ideological bias. Comparing Comey to Hoover is simply ridiculous. Who next – Lavrenti Beria? Maybe the Judge was drinking at the time, which also would explain where his brain was when he decided to waste his vote in order to posture and please himself in some silly way. The Judge is normally capable of much more incisive reasoning.

    Read More
  26. Avery says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    Why does everyone ignore basic facts? Thousands of Clinton e-mails have been illegally withheld from Congress by Clinton and Obama's FBI. Watch this recent short video of a Congressmen berating an FBI representative at a hearing for refusing to turn over e-mails and handing him a subpoena.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-fOaa7211c

    It is obvious that these e-mails are not withheld because of their national security content, but revelations of illegal activities, corruption, and incompetence. Congressmen can read top secret information, but face criminal prosecution if they leak it. What if they leak information about criminal activity that is not related to national security? They might be prosecuted, but that would only draw more attention and is unlikely to result in a conviction.

    So his cover up is blown as his career FBI agents who he can't fire will turn over all the e-mails full of evidence. So now he must "discover" new evidence and announce this before Congress gets the e-mails.

    Thanks for the link.
    Great clip.

    Rep Chaffetz did an excellent job dismantling the FBI rep’s stonewalling.

    Read More
  27. Stan says:

    Napolitano is a fraud. Conservatives, who claim they oppose big government and keep silent on mass latino immigration which results in the expansion of government since the overwhelming number of latinos support expansion of the welfare are liars, frauds and hypocrites.

    Read More
    • Agree: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    It's the reason I will stop reading his articles.
    , @HBM
    What if the idea of Hillary's destruction of the Second Amendment and the dissolution of America's borders is an appealing idea for the Judge? What if Comey reopened Hillary's email case in a ham-fisted, tone-deaf attempt to draw attention away from Wikileaks? What if Comey re-opened the case because the NYPD was going to go public, but Comey was and always has been a lackey acting on the orders of the President and so only did so to seize and bury the evidence?

    What if you have a candidate as utterly treasonous and corrupt as Hillary Clinton and you are a actually patriot-- instead of just LARPing as one-- with the means to stop her before she can ascend to the Presidency?
  28. That whole FBI investigation was a farce from the very beginning. Comey was under pressure from Lynch (and, implicitly, Obama) to take Clinton off the hook. Now it looks as though he is trying to make amends in the face of pressure from his own agency via a kind of back door mea culpa. As to the argument that what he did violates due process, as much as I can’t stand the woman, still it seems as though she may have a valid argument in that no specific bill of particulars has been lodged, only vague allegations.

    Of course, the bottom line is that this recent Comey episode begs the much larger question which still awaits an answer: Exactly what IS on Weiner’s laptop? And does Comey KNOW what’s on the laptop.

    Whether Clinton wins or loses, this story has wings.

    Read More
  29. This whole thing stinks like shit. Comey’s no fuckin’ good, of course, but neither is the U.S. “Justice” Department.

    The fix was in early on, culminating with that shady Phoenix airport meeting between “Blow Job Bill” Clinton and Shyster General Loretta Lynch. . . .

    Read More
  30. Both Clinton and Trump would grow the government.

    But Clinton would grow the population. As would Johnson. (With our tax monies!)

    And the government would grow along with it. Have you discussed your small-government philosophy with the people you meet at big naturalization ceremonies?

    Trump might or might not shrink it, or slow its growth, but has shown himself more amenable to Congress taking up the issue.

    I’m basically voting for Jeff Sessions for president, through Donald Trump. That’s good enough for government work.

    Read More
  31. @Stan
    Napolitano is a fraud. Conservatives, who claim they oppose big government and keep silent on mass latino immigration which results in the expansion of government since the overwhelming number of latinos support expansion of the welfare are liars, frauds and hypocrites.

    It’s the reason I will stop reading his articles.

    Read More
  32. Ragno says:

    I had intended to use this final column before the presidential election to explain at length why I cannot vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and plan to vote for Gary Johnson for president.

    See you in four years, Einstein!

    Read More
  33. HBM says:
    @Stan
    Napolitano is a fraud. Conservatives, who claim they oppose big government and keep silent on mass latino immigration which results in the expansion of government since the overwhelming number of latinos support expansion of the welfare are liars, frauds and hypocrites.

    What if the idea of Hillary’s destruction of the Second Amendment and the dissolution of America’s borders is an appealing idea for the Judge? What if Comey reopened Hillary’s email case in a ham-fisted, tone-deaf attempt to draw attention away from Wikileaks? What if Comey re-opened the case because the NYPD was going to go public, but Comey was and always has been a lackey acting on the orders of the President and so only did so to seize and bury the evidence?

    What if you have a candidate as utterly treasonous and corrupt as Hillary Clinton and you are a actually patriot– instead of just LARPing as one– with the means to stop her before she can ascend to the Presidency?

    Read More
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