In an astonishing sequel to FBI Director James Comey’s letter of last Friday, redacted copies of the FBI Marc Rich files have now been released to the general public. There is no indication of any pressing need to release these files, which again calls into question the impartiality of James Comey in his role as FBI Director. It now appears he may be carrying out a politically-based vendetta to cripple the Hillary Clinton campaign just days before the end of the 2016 presidential election.
Is this a coup? "Comey is 'acting like he’s trying to throw the election."" -- former prosecutor in Reagan's DOJ: https://t.co/HSgSgdhg0P— Andrea Chalupa (@AndreaChalupa) November 2, 2016
As reported by the Associated Press, many Democrats and Republicans had already begun to question Comey for his decision to send an ambiguous letter to the United States Congress regarding the equally vague suspicion that an at the time unexamined laptop belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner might contain Hillary Clinton emails.
Politicians, legal scholars, as well as former and present U.S. Attorney General’s have all argued that Comey’s action in sending this inflammatory letter to the Republican chairs of various committees in the House of Representatives almost certainly violated the Hatch Act of 1939. This Act forbids federal officials from interfering with upcoming elections, but the FBI Marc Rich files release seems even more blatant than the Comey letter of Friday.
Did Jim Comey release Marc Rich file to shame Eric Holder, who helped obtain Rich pardon, for writing this op-ed https://t.co/UVT9A7U1Pb?— Paula Dwyer (@paulaEdwyer) November 1, 2016
Comey’s Opinion Prior to the FBI
Mark Rich was an American businessman who when faced with charges of tax evasion and fraud fled to Switzerland. He was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton. Eyebrows were raised over this pardon, given the fact that the wife of Marc Rich made sizable contributions to Democratic causes, including Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.
@FBI: After Dir Comey wrote a letter that clearly affected the election outcome, whoever released the Marc Rich pardon file should be fired!— Kim Richards (@kimrichardsaa) November 2, 2016
The key point to note in this entire affair is that long before he was head of the FBI, James Comey was the prosecutor in the Marc Rich case and the US attorney for Manhattan who carried out the investigation into President Clinton’s pardon of Rich. If that doesn’t sound like the basis of a vendetta, it’s difficult to think what does.
In fact, years later in 2008, FBI Director Comey wrote in a letter that he was personally “stunned” by Bill Clinton’s decision to pardon Marc Rich. It now seems that Comey has decided that a gross abuse of power, as he apparently views Clinton’s pardon, can best be addressed by another gross abuse of power with the release of these files. But in this case, it’s Comey himself who is abusing his office.
Release of the FBI Marc Rich Files
According to CNN, the agency claims the FBI Marc Rich files were released because of several FOIA – Freedom of Information Act – requests. However, such requests must have been going on for months or even years. Are we to believe that it’s merely a coincidence that in the last week of the 2016 presidential election the bureaucratic wheels just happen to churn this out?
As noted by Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon, there apparently was no deadline requiring the release of the FBI Marc Rich files at this specific time. And coming in concert with FBI Director Comey’s letter of last week, it seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that the current Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has decided to take the outcome of the 2016 election into his own hands and out of those of the American people.
As mentioned above, these Actions by the FBI Director are almost certainly a violation of the Hatch Act, for which James Comey could, and almost certainly should, be dismissed from his position. But when combined with Comey’s letter of last Friday, the FBI Marc Rich files release represents one of the most shocking attempts to rig a presidential election in United States history, which seems tantamount to treason and perhaps should be punished as such.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]