Ronald Kessler, in an opinion piece for The Washington Times, argues that FBI Director James Comey was not protecting Hillary Clinton when the FBI declined to indict her.
"The notion that FBI Director James Comey took a fall to protect Hillary Clinton for political reasons is now gaining as much traction as the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States," Kessler writes.
"But as with the Obama conspiracy theory, a few simple facts undercut the claim that Mr. Comey acted improperly by not moving to indict Mrs. Clinton."
Kessler contends that Comey actually hurt Clinton's election chances more than indictment would have by releasing the details of the FBI's investigation.
"Calling her actions in handling classified material "extremely careless" and refuting her yearlong litany of excuses and dissembling are hardly the actions of someone who is trying to cover up for her. To the contrary, had Hillary been indicted, a trial would not have taken place for at least a year. The electorate meanwhile would have been in the dark about the damaging details of how shockingly she violated the public trust."
Kessler notes that Comey "had no obligation to release the material in the first place, or, for that matter, to authorize the investigation and assign 12 agents to work on it full-time for a year."
He also refutes the idea that the FBI should have questioned Clinton earlier, saying that the FBI chooses when to conduct interviews on a case-by-case basis, and that "In a complex investigation of this kind … it is more likely that the FBI would conduct an interview when all the facts had been amassed."
Kessler also argues that the FBI's 58-page summary "cannot possibly encompass all the information gathered during a yearlong investigation, nor all the questions that were or were not asked" in Clinton's three-and-a-half hour interview.
He quotes John L. Martin, a Justice Department official with 25 years of experience in prosecuting espionage laws, who says "Comey did the right thing."
"He put the facts out to let the people decide," Martin said.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued in a letter to Comey sent Thursday that the FBI's investigation of Clinton "[provides] a clear precedent for releasing additional information about the investigation of the parties responsible for the financial crisis."
Warren asks that Comey release the investigative materials on the financial crisis and agree to a public hearing.
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