Welcome To The Halloween Nation
What was with James Comey’s Friday letter to congress? It looks to me like the FBI Director had to go nuclear against his parent agency, the Department of Justice, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his boss, in particular. Why? Because the Attorney General refused to pursue the Clinton email case when more evidence turned up in the underage sexting case against Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin.
Over the weekend, the astounding news story broke that the FBI had not obtained a warrant to examine the emails on Weiner’s computer and other devices after three weeks of getting stonewalled by DOJ attorneys. What does it mean when the Director of the FBI can’t get a warrant in a New York minute? It must mean that the DOJ is at war with the FBI. Watergate is looking like thin gruel compared to this fantastic Bouillabaisse of a presidential campaign fiasco.
One way you can tell is that The New York Times is playing down the story Monday morning. Columnist Paul Krugman calls the Comey letter “cryptic.” Krugman’s personal cryptograph insinuates that Comey is trying to squash an investigation of “Russian meddling in American elections.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid chimed in with a statement that “it has become clear that you [Comey] possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government.” How’s that for stupid and ugly? It’s the Russian’s fault that Hillary finds herself in trouble again?
Earlier this week, lawyers at the DOJ attempted to quash a parallel investigation of the Clinton Foundation. They must be out of their minds to think that story will go away. Isn’t it about time that a House or Senate committee subpoenaed Bill Clinton to testify under oath about his June airport meeting with Loretta Lynch. He doesn’t enjoy any special immunity in this case.
Speaking of immunity, when will we learn what kind of immunity Huma Abedin may have been granted in previous cycles of the email investigation? Plenty of other Clinton campaign associates got immunity from prosecution earlier this year, rendering bales of evidence on their own laptops inadmissible in the email server case.
Things as yet unknown: Where is US Attorney (for the Southern District of New York) Preet Bharara in this case? He works for the DOJ, but he is known to be an independent operator, and he must be already involved at least in the underage sexting case against Weiner, meaning he’s had access to an awful lot of collateral evidence from Weiner’s laptop, and must have obtained some kind of warrants of his own.
What appears to be unraveling is the AG Loretta Lynch’s effort to protect Hillary Clinton and now, in this Alfred Hitchcock movie of a presidential election, she’s trying to make it look like James Comey is stabbing Hillary in the shower. (Film buffs note: in Hitchcock’s Psycho the character played by Janet Leigh made off with a bundle of money from her place of employment before Norman Bates worked his hoodoo on her at the motel.)
Trump, of course, is playing the escapade up in his usual idiotic way. It would be unfortunate if it ended up getting him elected — but how would it not be unfortunate for Hillary to wind up in the White House under a cloud of possible indictment? She will be doing Chinese fire drills with a special prosecutor the whole time she is in office, tempted at every moment to start a war with the Russians to divert attention from her legal problems.
Soon we will learn what kind of tensions are roiling between the FBI and the DOJ, and internally within each of these agencies. There are too many pissed off people there to prevent leakage, and probably plenty of email memoranda among the officials that would nicely lay out a trail of incrimination leading into the Attorney General’s office itself.
What a fine mess. And anybody who thinks that any of it might be resolved before November 8 will be disappointed. This story has so many legs, it looks like a Amazonian centipede compared to the lumbering cockroach that was Watergate. The awful proceedings will grind on and on while the US economy and its vampire squid matrix of financial rackets implode in 2017 along with the European Union and global trade. How do you like The Long Emergency now?