Tags: karl rove | james comey | hillary clinton | red line | emails

Rove: Comey Crossed 'Red Line' by Actions on Clinton

Image: Rove: Comey Crossed 'Red Line' by Actions on Clinton
Karl Rove (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 May 2017 01:50 PM

Ex-FBI Director James Comey has taken action in an "inappropriate manner" many times in the past, not only when it came to Hillary Clinton's email scandal, Karl Rove said Wednesday.

Comey at times "had to be a hot dog," the political strategist added.

"I thought it was highly inappropriate he did what he did in July by taking that prosecutorial decision into his own hands and announcing . . . they were not going to move with an indictment trashing Hillary Clinton," Rove, a former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, told Fox News' "America's Happening."

It was also a "grave mistake" for Comey to make announcements about the case in the final months of the 2016 campaign, Rove said.

"He was tarnishing the FBI by getting involved on what we know is a minor issue," he said. "He could have skated past the election without revealing they were looking into Huma Abedin's papers. It was a grave mistake for him to get into the final stages of the campaign."

There are two narratives behind Trump's decision, Rove said.

"The narrative that I think is most reliable is that on the 24th of April, Rod Rosenstein is confirmed as the deputy attorney general through whom the FBI reports," Rove said. "He comes into office with concerns about the way that Comey handled himself. He takes two weeks. He obviously reading from his letter discussed this with the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then frames up a letter which he sends to the attorney general yesterday that I think is well argued. "

Also, said Rove, there was a bipartisan concern that Comey had overstepped his role as FBI director.

"He violated a clear red line in America that has existed since the founding which is we divide the investigative decision and activity from the prosecutorial decision," he said. "He crossed that line with no statutory authority and violated, in my opinion, this line that we should have and Rosenstein writes the letter. The attorney general frames it to the president with a recommendation that Comey be fired."

The same day, Trump wrote his letter to Comey and had it delivered "by the former head of his personal security detail," said Rove, "not knowing that Comey is on the West Coast. That's one narrative. The Justice Department recommends it and the president acts on it."

The other narrative, Rove said, was reflected in a Politico article, stating Trump had been angry at Comey since his committee testimony last week on Russia, and "looking for a way to get rid of him."

Earlier on the program, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that if Trump was going to fire Comey, it should have happened earlier in the presidency, but Rove disagreed.

"Trump did not have a traditional transition, he just didn't," Rove said. "When he came into office he had nobody at the Department of Justice. It took him a while to get his AG In there."

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Ex-FBI Director James Comey has taken action in an "inappropriate manner" many times in the past, not only when it came to Hillary Clinton's email scandal, Karl Rove said Wednesday.
karl rove, james comey, hillary clinton, red line, emails
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2017-50-10
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 01:50 PM
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