Today FBI Director James Comey testified for about 4 hours in a hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing was a normal annual oversight hearing in which the FBI Director briefs Senate Committee members on a myriad of issues regarding operations of the FBI. The hearing was full of fireworks as Democrats on the Committee were determined to trip up the Director making it painfully obvious how much they wanted an admittance from Comey that he handled the Clinton email investigation wrong. That did NOT happen.
To be honest, the hearing was less about the Senate Judiciary Committee responsibilities regarding FBI matters and more about Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and the Russians. It also made blatantly clear the vitriolic hatred for President Trump held by every Democratic Senator who serves on the Committee. Democrats are led by Dianne Feinstein (Ca). Serving with her are Patrick Leahy (Vt), Dick Durbin (Il), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Amy Klobuchar (Mn), Al Franken (Mn), Chris Coons (De), Richard Blumenthal (Ct), and Mazi Hirono (Hi). To a person, only two real issues were discussed by the Dems in the hearing or for which they asked Director Comey questions: Russian intervention in the 2016 election and Comey’s “alleged” assistance with his public comments about the FBI investigation of Clinton emails. For 4+ hours they bloviated, chided Comey demanding he answer questions about FBI investigations underway, and demeaned decisions he made during the Clinton email investigation.
Note here that James Comey — though a political appointee — is a lifer at the FBI. He is one of those few good law enforcement officers who seem to really stick to just doing their job with no (or very little) regard for politics in general or political matters specifically affected by their work. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much Comey was able to say in his responses to committee questions. That ability was chiefly due to the completion of the Clinton email investigation and that FBI findings had already been de-classified and released to the public.
There were two other stark revelations shared in today’s hearing: according to reports, a new batch of emails sent or received through former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecured email server by top aide Huma Abedin has been unearthed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, and it revealed even more classified information passed through the server during Clinton’s time at the State Department than previously thought. In addition, a jaw-droppingly ironic message involving a cyber security meeting with the woman who replaced Clinton in the Senate was included in the latest trove of messages, which was obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails included 894 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was sent additional classified information through her unsecure clintonmail.com email account by top aide Huma Abedin. The Abedin emails also include repeated instances of Clinton’s detailed daily schedules being sent to top Clinton Foundation officials at unsecured email addresses. The new batch of emails also included 29 conversations that hadn’t been turned over to the State Department, bringing the grand total of emails not turned over to 317. “These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, ‘as far as she knew,’ all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.
In addition to the discovery of the additional Clinton emails that contained large amounts of classified information, an email revealed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a promise to “make sure the FBI investigation of Clinton emails would not go too far.” You may remember Lynch’s mysterious meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Phoenix Airport during the Hillary email investigation. That meeting was deemed inappropriate and a violation of Justice Department regulations after it was made public.
The icing on the cake was the pummeling of Comey by Committee Democrats about the FBI investigation into the Trump Campaign and Trump associates regarding ties to the Russian government. It was incredibly obvious Democrats on that committee will do almost anything to find a smoking gun given to Trump by Vladimir Putin (or vice versa). Senate objectivity was out the door as Democrats asked question after question, many of which the Director because of possible existing investigations into the matters politely declined to answer. He explained in detail how his ability to comment on investigations and even confirm they exist would be inappropriate, would probably taint those investigations, and that because of these issues he would not respond. The two most obvious desire for the Dems questions were to pin the Clinton election loss on the release by Comey of the news about the FBI investigation into her emails and his second Congressional notification that investigation was re-opening just a week before the election. The second was their insistence that Russia (and Putin specifically) MUST have been responsible for Trump’s winning the election. Of course Comey refused to play into their hands.
In summary let me state a couple of things: I have yet to hear Hillary Clinton or anyone in her campaign or any Democrat leaders on the Hill even hint the possibility that she lost the election because of her not being as acceptable a candidate to voters as Trump. In fact the opposite is true. She stated in a speech yesterday that “if the election had been held on October 26th she would be President today.” That was in reference to the timing of the Comey second notice to Congress of the reopening of the email investigation.
Isn’t it ironic that even though several Democrats have admitted they know Putin did not manually or literally affect the election by attacking voting machines or changing votes in anyway, not a single one will discuss yet alone admit that the reason voters turned away from Hillary was the content of the hacked Wikileaks Clinton email releases — not the release of emails but the CONTENT of those emails. Hillary is just like any other person: you can tell what’s in their heart by what they say and write. Reading her emails which revealed her contempt and arrogance to the World was the nail in the voter coffin for many in the election.
The saddest thing that came out of the hearing is that we are no where closer today to putting these issues behind us than we were on November 9th. Democrats not only lost the election, they were embarrassed that Donald Trump beat Hillary. Their disdain for Middle Americans has escalated. They no longer even try to hide it. And because of this hatred for the President, the divide in America grows wider every day. I shudder to think what it might take to awaken Americans — ALL Americans to the danger of continuing down this contentious path. We don’t need another serious war or a major terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland to awaken us. We simply need to accept that we don’t always get what we want and that “elections have consequences.”
In short, Democrats in Congress and around the nation need to grow up. There’ll be another Democrat President…I guarantee it. In the interim, why not just find a way to make things better for Americans in their everyday lives. Isn’t that a novel idea?