So yesterday the FBI re-opens an investigation, according to a letter which the director, James Comey, sent to Congress.
The Donald Trump campaign, and of course all the outfits which have been watching that campaign self-destruct, again and again making unforced errors, only to recover, somehow, as well as all the outfits that are more hoping that expecting that Hillary Clinton’s decades of malfeasance — including outright criminal behavior in the form of sale of public office and intentional mishandling of classified information, just to name a few — would finally catch up with her, are exulting. They present the letter as news that the FBI is re-opening its investigation of Hillary Clinton.
The Letter to Congress (that expression puts me in mind of Lord Chesterfield’s Letters to His Son, one of my favorite expressions of which is the good earl’s characterizing his (bastard; is nothing immune from irony?) son, Phillip Stanhope, as an “abandoned whoremonger”) says no such thing, of course. All it says is that certain e-mails have come to light in connection with an “unrelated investigation”; that those e-mails “may be relevant” to the earlier investigation of Her “personal e-mail server”; and, that in light of his previous testimony that the Feeb had completed its investigation of Her e-mail server, Comey feels obliged to inform Congress that is no longer the case. The FBI will “assess whether or not this material may be significant,” and will get back with them.
All of which is to say, ho-hum.
Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, has this to allow: “We don’t know what this means yet except that it’s a real bombshell. And it is unthinkable that the Director of the FBI would take this action lightly, that he would put this letter forth to the Congress of the United States saying there is more information out there about classified e-mails and call it to the attention of congress unless it was something requiring serious investigation.” Full transcript at that link, by the way.
But that’s not the only word. As it turns out, Comey — who’s never been an FBI agent, and whose actions in blatantly torpedoing the actual investigation of Her have, it seems, produced vehement outrage in the agency itself — felt called upon to explain himself to his underlings, whose integrity he sold out before all the world, in a letter which has now (will people never learn it’s 2016 already?) been leaked. The Washington Post has a transcription, here. Comey emphasizes his “repeated” statements in recent months that the investigation was complete, and how they discover additional materials. And so to “correct the record,” the FBI is now going to take “appropriate steps to obtain and review” the e-mails.
And just where were these e-mails found? Well, they were found in an e-mail account shared by Her Muslim Brotherhood operative closest aide, Huma Abedin, with her soon-to-be-former husband, Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner. The physical discovery was on Huma’s laptop. The “unrelated investigation” referred to by the FBI is their investigation of Weiner’s sexting relationship with a 15-year-old girl. If Comey is unsuccessful at sweeping this stuff under the rug as well — and allow me to put down the marker that I firmly believe that’s exactly what he has in mind — and if the American public is not so covered in civic scar tissue from the repeated and prolonged revelations at just how corrupt the Clinton empire actually is, and consequently fails to give Her the office which She has always believed belonged to Her by right, then Weiner will truly have earned the nickname I saw him tagged with yesterday, viz. “the Fredo Corleone of the Democrat Party.”
So what does it all mean, then?
Comey certainly cannot be protecting either his reputation or that of the FBI. He has ruined those for all time. Don’t think the acquittal across the board of the Bundy crew out in Oregon this week was anything other than outright jury nullification? Don’t think it might have been a reaction to seeing how the High and Mighty flout the laws to the peril of the country, and have the very police power itself collaborate in the cover-up? What color is the sun on Gentle Reader’s planet, then?
<paste cri de coeur>
[How’s this for a civil disobedience program: No More Convictions. If every federal criminal jury were to return a “not guilty” verdict in every single trial, if every jury in a tax case were to find against the IRS, if every jury in every suit brought by an administrative agency were to find for the citizen, then maybe perhaps the political class might get the message that the rest of us have had about all we’re fucking going to take of them. The boycott would continue until both She and Comey had (i) resigned all federal offices, (ii) made a full and public confession of exactly what they have done, (iii) executed an agreement in enforceable form never to seek or accept public office from any federal, state, or local entity, and (iv) surrendered their law licenses with an enforceable undertaking never to seek reinstatement. I make that modest proposal fully aware of the horrible implications it would have, if implemented. I am not unmindful of the innocent victims of horrific crimes who would see their perpetrators walk away unpunished. I am certainly aware that, as Things Work Out at the cosmic level, I would in all likelihood be one of those victims. But if we allow a system to continue in which the law simply does not apply to specific individuals from a specific political class, then Benjamin Franklin will have the answer to the question implicit in his response when questioned what the Constitutional Convention had wrought: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Weimar Germany didn’t collapse under the weight of reparations; it was never invaded; it was not cast into outer darkness by any constellation of hostile powers. It collapsed because ordinary Germans gave up on it.]
<end of cri de coeur>
My guess is that the FBI special agents running the Weiner investigation went to Comey and told him something along the lines of, “Listen, coach: You’re not going to do to us what you did to those bastards who served you up Hillary Clinton on a tray with the apple in her mouth, ready to be shoved into the oven and baked. We’re not signing any bullshit non-disclosure agreements. You either shine a light on this or we will.” [Update: 01 Nov 16: It looks as though my hunch may match up pretty well with what actually played out in the FBI.]
So what can Comey do? Well, my guess is that in the FBI there are very specific, and very specifically enforced, rules about disclosures in respect of an on-going investigation. By officially designating this material to be part of an on-going investigation, Comey seals it off from the light of day. Unless I really misunderstand things, there is no deadline at all for how long the FBI has to take to make a decision to refer something for prosecution or not. I would be amazed if Comey ever makes that “assessment” he’s promising Congress. His “assessment,” if any, is likely to take the form that he assesses his job to depend on seeing to it that the contents of those e-mails and how they came to be on the laptop used by a pedophile to sext his victims never, ever, ever see the light of day.
And they won’t.
This is not, in other words, the “bombshell” that Carl Bernstein thinks it is. It is, rather, precisely the opposite. John Podesta, as corrupt a political operator as has ever run a pay-to-play scheme for a politician, has demanded that Comey immediately disclose what’s in those e-mails. I guarantee you that She knows precisely what’s in them. But this demand permits Comey to play — publicly, at least — all coy about the “on-going investigation” thing. I will also promise you, however, that Her operatives will be permitted to participate in the “investigation”. [Historical note: In July, 1914, the only demand from Austria-Hungary which Serbia turned down was the demand that Austro-Hungarian officials be allowed to participate in the Serbian investigation into the antecedents, planning, and execution of the assassination plot against the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. They were wiling to agree to a laundry list of humiliation by the Austro-Hungarians. But not that: They were willing to accept what they had to have known would be the nearly-certain destruction of their country rather than agree to that one demand. And so it came to pass. Let us watch what Comey does, very carefully this time.]
I will hazard a small prediction: Within hours, if it has not already commenced, we will see public statements from Her campaign and its surrogates which, by reason of their confidence and substance, indicate that they in fact do not fear the supposed “investigation” and “assessment” of this additional “material” by the FBI. When someone is acting as if what would otherwise be a known and grave threat does not exist, Innocent Bystander is entitled to question why. Again, from July, 1914, the question was asked why, in its dealings with Serbia, did Austria-Hungary behave as if Russia — which was known to view itself as the protector of all Balkan Slav countries — did not exist. And the answer was of course that Austria-Hungary had taken out an insurance policy in Berlin, in the form of the famous “blank check” given by Imperial Germany, that whatever their ally did Germany would march beside them. My hunch is that Her campaign has already received the desired assurances from Comey. Without fear of actual disclosure, they can pivot to media spin, confident that whatever bullshit they get their operatives in the “news” media to put out there will not be contradicted by leaks from within the FBI.
Is all this tin-foil-hat territory? It may well be. But given how intentionally Comey blew up his own “investigation” of Her, I’m afraid the burden of proof must be viewed as having shifted to Comey.