Hillary Clinton and her supporters have been outspoken in their criticism of FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into her emails less than two weeks before the election. In a rare show of bipartisanship, many Republicans have joined Clinton in criticizing Comey’s timing.
Jim Jordan(R-Ohio) has been pushing for Clinton to be brought up on perjury charges regarding her use of a private email server, but even he believes that Comey acted inappropriately.
‘I think this was probably not the right thing for Comey to do, the protocol here, to come out this close to an election but this whole case has been mishandled and now it is what it is’
Jordan is far from alone in his assertion. At least ten other Republicans have come out in opposition to Comey’s decision. Senator Charles Grassley(R-Iowa) wrote a letter urging the FBI to release more information regarding Clinton’s emails. He wrote:
‘Unfortunately, your letter failed to give Congress and the American people enough context to evaluate the significance or full meaning of this development. Without additional context, your disclosure is not fair to Congress, the American people, or Secretary Clinton.’
Former House Speaker, and long-time opponent of the Clintons, Newt Gingrich urged the FBI to release the content of the emails they found on Huma Abedin’s computer.
‘If there are really more than 10,000 emails in the weiner-Abedin computer the FBI should release all monday.Americans[sic] have a right to know’
If there are really more than 10,000 emails in the weiner-Abedin computer the FBI should release all monday.Americans have a right to know
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) October 29, 2016
‘We should not be forced to vote with ten thousand or more emails still hidden by the FBI. John Podesta and Hillary Clinton are right.’
We should not be forced to vote with ten thousand or more emails still hidden by the FBI. John Podesta and Hillary Clinton are right.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) October 29, 2016
Former US Attorney Alberto Gonzales said that he fears that Comey made “an error in judgment” regarding Clinton’s emails.
‘…And you have to do what you believe is right, and I worry that in this particular instance, he has made an error in judgment in releasing this letter which really says nothing.’
Richard Painter, who served in the administration of George W. Bush went so far as to accuse Comey of violating the Hatch Act. He stated that Comey may not have intentionally violated the law, but argued that intent wasn’t necessary regarding violations of the Hatch Act.
‘But an official doesn’t need to have a specific intent — or desire — to influence an election to be in violation of the Hatch Act or government ethics rules. The rules are violated if it is obvious that the official’s actions could influence the election, there is no other good reason for taking those actions, and the official is acting under pressure from persons who obviously do want to influence the election.’
George J. Terwilliger, who served as deputy attorney general under George Bush, said that Comey’s actions were in violation of long-standing policy regarding the behavior of law enforcement agencies.
‘There’s a longstanding policy of not doing anything that could influence an election. Those guidelines exist for a reason. Sometimes, that makes for hard decisions. But bypassing them has consequences.’
John Dean, who served under Richard Nixon, didn’t question Comey’s intentions directly but refuted Trump’s claims that Clinton’s actions were worse than Watergate.
‘Whatever mistakes Mrs. Clinton made, her actions bear no similarities whatsoever to Nixon’s criminalization of his presidency, and his efforts to corrupt much of the executive branch.
‘…But to compare them to Watergate is more than historical ignorance’
Larry Thompson served under George W. Bush and recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post where he accused Comey of “putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.”
In the past, we’ve been fairly critical of former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh due to such things as him saying he would “grab his musket” if Trump wasn’t elected. That being said, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and Walsh was absolutely correct when he sent out a series of tweets shredding Comey for interfering in the electoral process.
‘Look, I think Comey should have said prosecute her back in July. But what he just did 11 days b4 the election is wrong & unfair to Hillary.’
Look, I think Comey should have said prosecute her back in July.
But what he just did 11 days b4 the election is wrong & unfair to Hillary.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 31, 2016
Judge Jeanine Pirro, who is a longtime Trump supporter, echoed Thompson’s sentiment that the FBI was interfering in the electoral process and called Comey’s actions a sign of everything that was wrong with Washington.
‘[This] is symptomatic of all that is wrong in Washington. One of the most revered agencies in our nation’s history–now seen as putting its finger on the scales of justice–should not now be front and center.’
POLITICO’s Gabriel Debenedetti recently reported that the Clinton campaign had gathered signatures from 46 attorneys general who have agreed that Comey’s actions were “unacceptable and unfair.”
‘The Clinton camp is circulating a letter from 46 former state attorneys general from both parties: Comey’s actions “unacceptable and unfair”
The Clinton camp is circulating a letter from 46 former state attorneys general from both parties: Comey's actions "unacceptable and unfair"
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) October 31, 2016
In the coming days, we’ll likely see even more Republicans come out in opposition to Comey’s actions. Let’s hope it’s enough to persuade him to try and clean up this mess he’s made.
Featured image via Getty Images.