Did Obama call FBI Director Comey on the carpet yesterday?
FBI Director James Comey holds the future of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in his hands, as the FBI investigates her handling of classified information. Director Comey last Friday also made some comments in a speech that seemed to contradict a recent propaganda push by the Obama administration. Michael Schmidt of the New York Times writes:
President Obama and other administration officials have described law enforcement efforts from the [1980s and 90s] as “mass incarceration.”
In a speech last Friday in Chicago, Mr. Comey challenged that interpretation, suggesting it “distorts an important reality” of what the authorities have achieved in the past 25 years to bring down the crime rate. “Pulling up those many weeds, as painful as that was,” he said, “allowed churches, schools, community groups and parents to plant seeds that have grown into healthy neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that are free and alive in 2014 in ways that were unimaginable 25 years ago. We cannot lose sight of that.”
He also made another fairly provocative claim, saying that the recent intense focus on police brutality may have made police officers less aggressive and led to an increase in crime. He seemed to be lending his credibility — and the F.B.I.’s — to the idea that the increased attention on the police has affected officers and emboldened criminals without citing any data to back up his assertion.
Mr. Comey did not tell the Justice Department or the White House what he was planning to say in the speech, but the reaction to it was immediate. Justice Department officials were puzzled, as they did not recall Mr. Comey’s ever raising such issues during their deliberations. The deputy attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, pressed Mr. Comey to explain his views. And, Mr. Comey was criticized by civil rights groups and the head of one of the largest police unions in the country.
So it is quite notable that yesterday Comey was called to the White House for a talk with the president. Buried 362 words into the Schmidt NYT article on Comey, we learn:
On Thursday, the president met with Mr. Comey in the Oval Office to discuss his views. The White House declined to describe the conversation.
Clarice Feldman writes me that she wonders, “Is there about to be an open fight between Comey and the WH?”
I don’t know, but I hope that Comey, a man who has not hesitated to stand up to political figures, will stand his ground and see through the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall in the Oval Office yesterday?