Gregg Jarrett: Sad and infuriating – FBI director’s tortured interpretation of the law

As evidence mounts that the Director of the FBI subverted justice, damaged the reputation of the Bureau and squandered the support of his agents, calls for his resignation will surely escalate. 

Can there be any confidence in his future judgments and decisions, as long as he continues to preside over the once-venerated Federal Bureau of Investigation?

That is the plight James Comey now faces in light of the exclusive story published by in which a person closely involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails revealed that career FBI agents and attorneys who dedicated themselves to the year-long probe unanimously believed she should have been criminally charged. 

More than 100 agents and analysts were assigned to the case.  They all thought Clinton committed crimes.  And maybe Comey believed it, too.  But he chose to ignore both the evidence and the law. It is sad and confounding and infuriating, all at the same time.

The FBI, as the nation’s most prominent law enforcement agency, is badly damaged. Its reputation tarnished. Its image corrupted.

A second source, a high-ranking FBI official, confirmed the crux of his colleague’s stunning revelation.  He said that while it may not have been a unanimous belief, the vast majority felt Clinton should be prosecuted.  Stripping her of her security clearance was unanimous, he explained. 

But none of that appears to have mattered to Comey.  He didn’t care what his lawyers told him.  It didn’t matter that his skilled agents painstakingly uncovered overwhelming evidence that Clinton mishandled classified documents in clear violation of federal statutes.   

In my column on July 5th, the day Comey announced he would not recommend to the Attorney General that Clinton be criminally prosecuted, I argued that Comey’s decision made no legal sense.  I recited the language of the relevant statute… and compared it to Comey’s own words describing Clinton’s conduct.  They were nearly identical. 

I wrote then how Comey exhibited an astonishing ignorance of the law.  He laid out a case of gross negligence constituting a crime, defined it with the words “extremely careless” and then promptly proceeded to ignore the law.  

Now, some 3 months later, we learn that just about everyone who worked on the case agreed with that assessment.  “We were floored while listening to the FBI briefing because Comey laid it all out and then said ‘but we are doing nothing,’ which made no sense to us,” said the source.   It still makes no sense.  His decision defies common sense and makes a mockery of legal sense. 

So why would Comey do it?  Was he influenced by the Obama White House?  Did he get his “marching orders” from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was already ethically compromised when she met privately with Bill Clinton just days before Comey’s announcement? 

The Fox News source offers this explanation: staffers at both the Department of Justice and the FBI believe Comey and Lynch were motivated by ambition, not justice.  In other words, they wanted to keep their jobs. 

The FBI, as the nation’s most prominent law enforcement agency, is badly damaged.  Its reputation tarnished.   Its image corrupted. 

James Comey is to blame for that.  It will serve as an indelible, ugly stain on his legacy.  

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney.

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