Comey’s game

James Comey finds himself at the center of the bitterest, most divisive presidential election in memory, a fate he sought to avoid.  Having decided not to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton in July, his hand was evidently forced when agents brought him news of the existence of a vast trove of emails related to Hillary Clinton’s home-brew server.  Voluntarily or not, Comey is now a key player in the highest-stakes political game our Constitution offers, and he is playing his cards like a riverboat gambler.

Two pieces of news yesterday seem to indicate that a complicated game is being played by Comey, now that he understands what he is in the midst of.  Reuters reports that Comey, in the expression used by the U.K. Daily Mail, called Loretta Lynch’s bluff when she tried to get him to keep secret the discovery of hundreds of thousands of emails.

An astonishing confrontation between the attorney-general and the FBI director over Hillary Clinton's emails was revealed Monday.

Sources told Reuters how James Comey, the FBI boss, challenged Loretta Lynch, the nation's most senior prosecutor, over whether she was directing him to keep the bombshell discovery of new, 'relevant' emails secret from Congress. (snip)

The Comey-Lynch confrontation unfolded on Thursday, some time after Comey was fully briefed on the existence of the trove of emails uncovered by agents investigating Anthony Weiner's sexting of a 15-year-old girl. 

Lynch made it known that she thought his decision violated department policy, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

As Comey and Lynch aides debated last Thursday whether alerting Congress about the emails would comply with longstanding Justice Department policy against announcing overt investigative steps that would influence an upcoming election, Comey asked whether he was being explicitly directed not to do so.

Lynch never gave Comey the order not to send the emails, a senior government official said.

Comey cornered Lynch into having to take responsibility for what she wanted done.  That shows that Comey is indeed a skilled bureaucratic infighter and that he is now playing hardball with Lynch, Obama, and Clinton.

Apparently, the hardball message was already received by the White House.  Even before the Reuters report, Josh Earnest told the White House Press Corps (via CNN):

President Barack Obama does not believe FBI Director James Comey is attempting to influence this year's presidential vote, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

"The President doesn't believe that he's secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party," Earnest said. "He's in a tough spot, and he's the one who will be in a position to defend his actions in the face of significant criticism from a variety of legal experts, including individuals who served in senior Department of Justice positions in administrations led by presidents in both parties."

The White House had no role in Comey's decision to inform Congress he was investigating new emails related to Hillary Clinton's private server, Earnest added.

Earnest said he would neither "defend nor criticize" the decision. He's aiming to preserve the integrity of the review into whether additional emails discovered on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner are relevant to an investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

We have no way of knowing exactly what is behind this startling rejection of the claims of Hillary’s campaign and Harry Reid.  But it is indicative of strife on the Dems' side.

My pet theory is that Comey already let Obama know that the use of a pseudonym to send email to Hillary on her unsecure server is in fact a crime that he committed.  It would be a shame if that had to be made an issue.

But maybe Obama wants Hillary to win, but not to win big.  After all, there are the competing political machines of Obama and Clinton to consider, as well as the personal dislike.

And then there is this theory of a friend of mine:

You saw that article at Drudge about Podesta's BFF at DOJ and how now all of a sudden the DOJ wants to help the FBI go thru the emails to expedite things. 

There's the hook that's why earnest/Obama were playing nice with Comey. They want him to think they're being helpful and to cooperate with the DOJ but we all know once the DOJ gets those emails they'll all either be deemed yoga/wedding emails or will get lost or deleted.  

That's why they praised him! It’s bait to lure him into their trap.  Then they'll find a way to take Comey down and be the scapegoat

We already live in a banana republic.

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