James Comey To Congress: About Those Hillary Clinton Emails I Mentioned Last Week? Meh, Forget About It, Nothing To See
from the wtf,-comey? dept
James Comey continues to be playing by his own ridiculous rules. He was playing by his own rules when he publicly announced that no charges would be sought against Hillary Clinton over her emails back in July. He was playing by his own rules a week ago when he revealed in a letter to Congress that new information had come to light, man. And, he continued to play by his own rules in sending a new letter to Congress saying, “Ooops, turns out there was nothing.”
Specifically, the letter — sent to the same heads of various Congressional committees — said:
I write to supplement my October 28, 2016 letter that notified you the FBI would be taking additional investigative steps with respect to former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.
Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.
I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.
Of course, because we’re a day out from the election, and everyone wants to see this whole thing through stupid partisan eyes, you have Trump supporters who freaked out over the July announcement, but were thrilled by the October announcement, suddenly pissed off at this latest announcement. A key claim repeated a bunch of times is: “it’s not possible the FBI could have gone through 650,000 emails in a week.” This ridiculous line of thinking was kicked off by former NYPD Police Commissioner (and convicted felon) Bernard Kerik in a now deleted tweet:
Which, of course, is laughably clueless. First of all, there are at least some questions as to whether or not there were actually 650,000 Clinton emails in the bunch, but to do a basic analysis of even that large a group of emails isn’t that hard. As some dude named Ed Snowden explained:
@jeffjarvis Drop non-responsive To:/CC:/BCC:, hash both sets, then subtract those that match. Old laptops could do it in minutes-to-hours.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 7, 2016
The key thing here: the crux of the investigation is if any of the emails found via Anthony Weiner/Huma Abedin’s devices were different from the ones that the FBI already had from Clinton’s server. Doing a basic diff isn’t that difficult, as Snowden noted. So, as for Kerik’s ridiculous claim, Americans may not be stupid, but it certainly appears that the former NYPD police commissioner is kinda ignorant of how computers work.
That said, going back to the original point: James Comey is and has been ridiculous throughout this process. I know that supporters of both Clinton and Trump have done their flip-flops on whether or not Comey was good or bad based on the July and October announcements, but it should be pretty clear that he was ridiculous throughout this entire process and handled nearly every aspect of it poorly. Even some diehard Trump supporters found the latest move to be dumbfounding. Here’s former Congressional Rep. Joe Walsh — who just a few weeks ago talked about taking up arms if Trump lost — admitting that Comey’s actions are head scratching:
So, perhaps — in the heat of this crazy election that has people screaming at each other — this is finally an issue that everyone can come together and agree on: James Comey is a terrible FBI director.