Who is undermining the rule of law in our country? Democrats say it is FBI Director James Comey, but they’re wrong. It is President Obama who has repeatedly and inappropriately stepped on Department of Justice investigations and his Attorneys General who have allowed it to happen.
When Obama declared on “60 Minutes” more than a year ago that Hillary’s use of a personal server didn’t “pose a national security problem,” he sent a message to his AG. When the president publicly declared that David Petraeus’ mishandling of classified information didn’t “have a negative impact on our national security” even as FBI agents were trying to draw their own conclusions, or when he stated that there was not a “smidgeon of corruption” in the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party organizations, Obama signaled to Justice how those inquiries should turn out.
Comey’s sin is not that his announcement about the renewed inquiry into Clinton’s emails might tilt the election; it is that he turns out to be that “rarity in Washington… [who] doesn’t care about politics,” as Obama described his nominee in 2013.
That is indeed rare, and especially in the Department of Justice. As they review the stalled effort to investigate the Clinton Foundation and slip-shod investigation into Clinton’s possible mishandling of classified information, the grants of immunity, the lack of Grand Jury involvement and destruction of evidence, Americans wonder: is there a separate standard for the Clintons?
They will not be reassured by discovering that the investigation into the private server will be spearheaded by assistant attorney General Peter J. Kadzik who recently wrote ranking members of Congress assuring them the renewed probe would be speedy. Kadzik is a close pal of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief. They were law school classmates, and Kadzik represented Podesta during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. In 2008, Podesta recommended Kadzik for a job with the Obama transition team, calling him a “fantastic lawyer” who “kept me out of jail.” This year, Kadzik asked Podesta’s help in finding his son a job with the Clinton campaign.
Is it any wonder Americans are losing faith in our Department of Justice?
Voters might remember that in 2012, for the first time in our country’s history, a sitting cabinet official was held in contempt of Congress. That official was Attorney General Attorney General Eric Holder, who was cited for lying to legislators about Operation Fast & Furious. Holding the AG in criminal contempt was one of the few bipartisan acts of the House of Representatives in recent years; the vote against Holder was 255-67, with 17 democrats so incensed at Holder’s illegal behavior that they voted for censure in spite of intense lobbying from the White House.
It is beyond ironic that Holder, who resigned two days after a judge declined to prosecute him for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena, has dared to criticize Comey’s recent action as “incorrect” in a Washington Post op-ed. Holder hilariously claims that he established the “proper way to conduct investigations during an election season.” It was of course in the lead-up to Obama’s reelection bid that Holder lied and refused to turn over documents about the botched gun-dealing operation, which cost a U.S. border patrol agent his life and which could have dented the president’s standing.
Holder’s approach, in other words, was to squash an investigation that might tar the White House. Actually, maybe he did set the standard; the current attorney general, Loretta Lynch, seems to have adopted the practice as her own.
The Wall Street Journal reported Lynch or her subordinates in the Department of Justice tried to dissuade Director Comey from alerting Congress that the FBI was extending the email probe because of newly discovered records. Even more reprehensible, for some time DOJ officials have discouraged agents from investigating the Clinton Foundation. Numerous apparent instances of pay-to-play activities involving then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have surfaced, in which payments were made by interested parties to the Foundation and to Bill Clinton personally in exchange for favors from State. These are serious charges; voters should know if the woman who wants to be president traded access for cash.
Lynch of course also infamously met with Bill Clinton in an off-the-radar rendezvous on her plane, only days before Mrs. Clinton was to be interviewed by the FBI about the use of her server. Did Bill say anything to Lynch to influence her direction of the case? Were promises made or threats delivered? We will never know…unless some of the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer reveal those conversations.
Obama’s October 2015 comment on “60 Minutes” that Clinton’s email use “was not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered” ignited a firestorm within the FBI. Agents conducting the investigation were incensed that the president had just publicly rendered judgment on the case.
Obama may have had good reason to intervene. As the New York Times reported at the time, “investigators have been scrutinizing everyone who came in contact with Hillary Clinton’s server and trying to determine whether anyone sent or received classified information, whether that information was compromised and whether any of this amounted to a crime.”
What we now know is that President Obama was among those emailing to the Clinton server, and that he lied about it. He told an interviewer that he found out about Clinton’s email arrangement when everyone else did – from press accounts. That was not true. From WikiLeaks we know that Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, sent an email the first week of March 2015 in which she says, “Suggest Phillippe talk to Josh [Earnest] or Eric. They know POTUS and HRC emailed.” Noting that White House spokesman Josh Earnest “has been asked about that,” Palmieri appears concerned that they get their story straight, saying “Standard practice is not to confirm anything about his email…”
Obama sent emails to Hillary’s Clinton.org address under a pseudonym; it is impossible that our tech-savvy president didn’t know what he was doing.
What we don’t know, because the content of those emails was redacted, is whether or not Obama sent classified information to Clinton via this unsecured channel. If the FBI finds Hillary guilty of mishandling such data, maybe the president is vulnerable to the same charges. No wonder he belittles the investigation.