Comey Needs to Explain This

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

This is highly disturbing.

In his recent testimony about his decision to send the notorious October 2016 letter to Clinton Congress, FBI Director James Comey painted a dramatic picture of the facts of the case and Huma Abedin’s actions. Altogether it was meant to demonstrate that Comey had little choice but to take action and ultimately send his public letter to Congress.

But it turns out what Comey said wasn’t true and the FBI knows it.

Here’s the key bit of a stunning report from ProPublica …

The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.

FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.

ProPublica is reporting a story on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails and raised questions with government officials last week about possible inaccuracies in Comey’s statements about Abedin.

I’m willing to believe that Comey – with a mix of defensiveness and perhaps animus – got carried away rather than being willfully deceiving. But whether or not to correct the record should not be a hard call. Moreover, those excuses – defensiveness and animus – cast a very dark light on Comey’s decision-making last fall. These claims amounted to his justifications for action. The episode tends to confirm what many suspected about Comey’s actions – animus/bias with regards to Clinton, followed by defensiveness and prevarication over a clearly (at best) botched decision.