I have been targeting my ire mostly against the media for getting just about everything wrong; for overblowing the Hillary Clinton email mishandling scandal while she was U.S. secretary of state from 2009-2013; for colluding with Russian operatives who hacked U.S. democratic campaign related websites, when its editors chose to cover information garnered from this stolen data; and a myriad of other sins.
The democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton bears her share of the blame for losing the presidential title. There were voices including that of President Bill Clinton, known for his political instincts who strongly warned his wife’s campaign managers against ignoring the working class population in the rust belt states. Her campaign team ignored this advice.
But the real proximate cause for Mrs. Clinton’s loss rests on the shoulders of the FBI Director James Comey’s October Surprise in the form of his October 28, 2016 letter to U.S. congress, stating that the FBI would be reviewing newly discovered emails which could be pertinent to the July 2016 closed case without criminal charges, regarding Hillary Clinton’s email handling of classified material via her personal server, while she served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
For review, the only way, Mrs. Clinton could have faced criminal charges was if she lied while answering FBI questions. Since she did not fall into this trap, Director Comey could not criminally charge her, but then he broke with FBI rules in July 2016, by publicly chastising her over the foolishness of her email handling while she was secretary of state from 2009-2013. In short, when the FBI chooses to not indict, their long standing rules bar agents from sharing any information about the case, period. However, the republicans in the U.S. congress were not satisfied with his efforts to where they made their discontent well known to Director Comey.
With the follow-up 2016 October Surprise, the FBI Director again defied the FBI’s own published regulations of not publicly disclosing anything about an elected official while he/ she is under investigation, within 60 days of an election unless an indictment is imminent; and this was done counter to DOJ high level officers’ strong objections. According to various news sources, FBI Director Comey took this unprecedented step at the behest of a group of FBI agents with a visceral hatred of the presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Supposedly, this group approached Director Comey, about making this decision to act on Mrs. Clinton’s newly discovered emails (that they had in their possession for up to 4 weeks) within 12 days of the election date. To clear her within two days of the election was not a sufficient remedy.
The FBI Director’s claims of doing what he thought was right rings hollow. In fact, the email server probe is the third time Director Comey has investigated events connected to Hillary Clinton.
But here’s the rub. Soon after the FBI Director went public with his 2016 October Surprise, the FBI also managed to inexplicably release confidential data about the Marc Rich case.
This was the situation with Hillary Clinton because she chose to ignore regulations in place at the U.S. state department from 2009-2013 which were not codified into law. Thus, she could not be criminally charged for her decision to use a personal private server. The news about her handling classified material which could be more susceptible to foreign penetration was a red herring. Today, the classified and non classified data at the state department are handled in exactly the same way as it was during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure, minus the private server. And while it can be proven that Russia successfully hacked the U.S. state department’s server on numerous occasions ( Director Comey is well aware of this), he cannot say for sure that Mrs. Clinton’s private server was compromised.
But, I can assure the FBI with 100% certainty that while other governmental agencies under its jurisdiction did suffer its security walls being breeched by Russian hacks, Mrs. Clinton’s personal email system was the only one not subject to Russia’s prying eyes. This is because that while the Russians made multiple hacking forays into the U.S. state department’s internet system, its agents were never able to provide its conduit, WikiLeaks with any of the 30,000 plus personal emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her personal private server. WikiLeaks would have dumped these emails if Russia had them to share.
Kevin Drum echoes my thoughts in his 11/10/16 Mother Jones piece, “Fuck You, James Comey.” Here are excerpts:
“I blame Emailgate (for Clinton’s loss). In a purely abstract way, I almost admire the ability of Republicans to elevate a self-evident molehill into a groundless smear on Hillary Clinton for the tenth or twentieth time and still get anyone to pay attention to it. It took dogged persistence and a wide cast of characters to make it happen: Trey Gowdy, Judicial Watch, Julian Assange, a rotating bench of judges, Vladimir Putin, a gullible press corps, Jason Chaffetz, the FBI, and many more. But if we’re going to choose one particular person who managed to hand the White House to a buffoonish game show host, it’s FBI director James Comey, the guy who inexplicably released a letter a week before the election that yet again implied some kind of vague, amorphous wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton. Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg report that Trump’s comeback picked up real steam only after the letter was released:“
“Trump’s analysts had detected this upsurge in the electorate even before FBI Director James Comey delivered his Oct. 28 letter to Congress announcing that he was reopening his investigation into Clinton’s e-mails. But the news of the investigation accelerated the shift of a largely hidden rural mass of voters toward Trump.”
….”After Comey, that movement of older, whiter voters became newly evident. It’s what led Trump’s campaign to broaden the electoral map in the final two weeks and send the candidate into states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan that no one else believed he could win (with the exception of liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, who deemed them “Brexit states”). Even on the eve of the election Trump’s models predicted only a 30 percent likelihood of victory.”
“Comey provided the match that Trump used to light the country on fire. People who decided on their vote during the last week—after Comey wrote his letter—broke strongly for Trump. People who decided on their vote during the last couple of days—after Comey cleared Clinton—broke about evenly. Did that letter make a difference of 1 percent? No one will ever be able to prove or disprove it, but I’ll bet it did.” (Remember, Clinton lost the election by about 1%.)