After several weeks in which substantial additional discussion of the now-infamous “Comey Letter” could only be found in The Huffington Post and a handful of smaller news outlets, major media has finally weighed in on this election-changing story.
The Washington Post has now published a lengthy article detailing how and why the Comey Letter was sent to Congress by FBI Director James Comey on October 28th, just a week and a half before the 2016 presidential election.
Unfortunately, the new story raises far more questions than it answers.
The reason? It contradicts October 30th reporting in the very same newspaper.
On October 30th, The Washington Post twice contended that Director Comey did not know about the “new” Clinton emails on Anthony Wiener’s computer until October 27th, just a day before he informed Congress of the development. As reporters Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima, and Rosalind S. Helderman wrote at the time, “The director, James B. Comey, has written that he was informed of the development Thursday [October 27th].” Later in the same article, the Post sourced this same claim differently, citing “people familiar with the case” for the proposition that “FBI agents investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State knew early this month that messages recovered in a separate probe might be germane to their case, but they waited weeks before briefing the FBI director...” (emphasis supplied).
This explosive news led many smaller online news outlets to wonder how FBI agents in the Wiener case and/or their rank-and-file, Clinton-investigating compatriots in the D.C. field office, holding potentially relevant evidence in the Clinton case, could have waited 24 days—from their October 3rd discovery of “new” Clinton emails to Comey’s self-admitted October 27th discovery of this fact—to brief their boss on the development.
This alleged three-and-a-half week reporting delay was especially troubling given that (a) Comey had the power to immediately seek a search warrant for the full content of the new emails, rather than wasting weeks trawling through mere “meta-data” as the Wiener investigators (for no obvious reason, given the irrelevance of the emails to their investigation) and possibly even rank-and-file Clinton investigators had done, (b) investigators on the Clinton case had previously worked cooperatively with Huma Abedin, opening up the possibility that had they known of the “new” emails on October 3rd they could have asked Abedin and/or her estranged husband Wiener, who shared the computer with her and was also cooperating with the FBI, for permission to view its contents, and (c) leaks to the Trump campaign between October 3rd and October 27th seemed to establish that rogue agents in the New York field office of the FBI were disseminating information about the Clinton investigation outside the Bureau for partisan purposes (a violation of the federal Hatch Act) prior to anyone informing Comey about the New York office’s investigatory find. This last fact raised, and still raises, the very distinct possibility that either these agents or agents in the D.C. field office—agents who leak recipient Rudy Giuliani has described as being livid at both Clinton and Comey—were sitting on the “new” information in order to ensure that it was leaked by Comey, the Trump campaign, or rogue agents within the FBI immediately before Election Day.
Now, however, The Washington Post has changed its tune, and thereby thrown the entire timeline behind the Comey Letter into disarray.
In a just-published December 22nd article, the Post now claims, again quoting anonymous sources, that “within days, Comey was notified of the [October 3rd] discovery” of the “new” Clinton emails. If this is true, it means that Comey himself, not rogue agents within the New York field office of the FBI, sat for weeks on information that he should have disclosed immediately to the Department of Justice and the relevant Congressional committee—thereby creating, rather than being the victim of, a chain-of-command snafu that ensured that his subsequent letter to Congress would dramatically swing the presidential election to Trump.
Attempts to contact the author of the recent piece in The Washington Post had not yet been responded to as of the time of this writing.
Whatever the newspaper’s reply, however, it is clear now that serious, major-media attention to the Comey Letter, violations of the Hatch Act at the FBI, and the timeline of events that led to the so-called “re-opening” of the Clinton investigation is necessary.
If rogue FBI agents angry about the July non-indictment of Clinton prevented Director Comey from accessing information he needed to make an informed decision about whether, when, and how to inform the DOJ and Congress about the “new” Clinton emails, and if Rudy Giuliani was telling the truth when he confessed on the Lars Larson radio program on October 28th (with details added in a November 4th interview on Fox News) that active FBI agents had leaked news of the “new” emails to him “three or four weeks” earlier, we have a Watergate-level conspiracy on our hands.
If, however, it was Comey himself who sat on the critical intelligence for weeks, the accuracy of his October 27th letter to Congress, and the possibly duplicitous nature of his October 27th discussions with DOJ brass, must be more thoroughly investigated. It is time for the major cable and network news programs, as well as their peers in print media, to work together to fully uncover the unadulterated truth about what James Comey knew—and, for that matter, what Rudy Giuliani knew—and when he knew it.