Clin­ton’s ex­treme, un­war­ranted re­ac­tion

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - Jay Am­brose

— Hil­lary Clin­ton is try­ing to trick you about the new email in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta Lynch is more re­spon­si­ble for its be­com­ing known than the trashed and weary FBI Direc­tor James Comey.

It does not fol­low that there’s no rea­son to crit­i­cize Comey, but the at­tacks have been ex­treme, leave out the con­text and do not suf­fi­ciently look at what his let­ter to Congress ac­tu­ally said. And while Clin­ton has ev­ery right in the world to de­fend her­self, she re­ally ought to hang up the de­cep­tions that have got­ten her into this trou­ble in the first place.

Comey, as we all know, sur­prised the na­tion when he once gave a press con­fer­ence say­ing Clin­ton had been “ex­tremely care­less” with na­tional se­cu­rity se­crets but showed no crim­i­nal in­tent and should not be pros­e­cuted. He said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was be­ing dropped but also said dur­ing a con­gres­sional hear­ing that he might well re­open it if new in­for­ma­tion showed up.

It did. While in­ves­ti­gat­ing An­thony Weiner’s lap­top com­puter in a case con­cern­ing sex­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tions al­legedly with a 15-year-old girl, the FBI found emails ap­par­ently in the hun­dreds of thou­sands that could be con­nected with the ini­tial probe. Weiner, a for­mer con­gress­man who wrecked his ca­reer by send­ing dirty pic­tures of him­self to young women, is mar­ried to Huma Abe­din, Clin­ton’s top aide who is now es­tranged from him.

Comey sent Congress a let­ter about all of this sim­ply say­ing new ma­te­rial had been found and that the FBI was go­ing to look at it, adding that it might not be sig­nif­i­cant. Many crit­ics said that never be­fore had a govern­ment of­fi­cial made such po­lit­i­cally ex­plo­sive in­for­ma­tion avail­able this close to an elec­tion. In a let­ter to FBI col­leagues, Comey said had led peo­ple into think­ing Clin­ton had been cleared and it would be un­fair not to cor­rect the record.

The big­ger fact is that he in­formed Lynch of what he in­tended


to do. She ad­vised against it, but she or her deputy could have or­dered him to do no such thing. If she felt strongly, why did she shirk the re­spon­si­bil­ity? Did it maybe have some­thing to do with her se­cret air­plane meet­ing with Bill Clin­ton dur­ing the early part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and fear that it would look as if she was play­ing po­lit­i­cal games?

Now we get back to Clin­ton, who had been go­ing around de­mand­ing that the FBI re­lease the ma­te­rial it found on the Weiner com­puter. She did this when the FBI had barely be­gun its in­ves­ti­ga­tion and made it sound as if her sure-enough in­no­cence leaves her un­afraid. Re­leas­ing all the ma­te­rial would be against the law, as she has to know, but if noth­ing new or dam­ag­ing has been found af­ter a thor­ough look, Comey will al­most surely say so pub­licly.

Don­ald Trump has got­ten al­most ev­ery­thing ab­so­lutely wrong on this mat­ter, just as he has on about ev­ery­thing else this year. He him­self has le­gal prob­lems and is ut­terly un­qual­i­fied to be pres­i­dent of the United States. It does re­main highly un­likely he will win the elec­tion even though his poll num­bers are im­prov­ing.

But there is plen­ti­ful rea­son to fear Clin­ton, too. When she had one of the most im­por­tant jobs in the world as sec­re­tary of state, she was care­less with se­crets con­cern­ing na­tional se­cu­rity, which is to say your safety and mine. On top of that, we have the out­rages go­ing back to her Arkansas days, the foun­da­tion scan­dal, the like­li­hood of her giv­ing us a ru­inous Supreme Court, her shrugs about a dis­as­trous debt she would make worse and her blank­minded left­ism gen­er­ally.

In short, there are nu­mer­ous rea­sons for vot­ers to put Repub­li­cans in con­trol of Congress so they can help con­trol some­thing else, Clin­ton and her fear­ful pro­cliv­i­ties.

Jay Am­brose is an colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Read­ers may email him at speak­to­

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