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James Comey

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  • FBI Director's Letter Receives Criticism From Across The Political Spectrum

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Media figures from across the political spectrum are criticizing FBI Director James Comey for defying Justice Department rules and precedent to issue a short and vague letter informing Congress that the Bureau had obtained and was seeking to review emails “that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. The journalists and pundits called the timing of Comey’s letter “unfortunate, given its potential to affect a democratic process in which millions of people are already voting,” with some going so far as to say Comey’s letter “both disgraces and politicizes the FBI.”

  • Journalists Criticize Outlets Who Ignored FBI Letter And Ran With Republican Congressman’s Spin

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    After some media outlets ran with a misleading story that the FBI planned to examine new evidence associated with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server, numerous reporters and media figures criticized the initial coverage for using Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R-UT) spin rather than the actual letter from FBI Director James Comey, which said only that new emails “pertinent”  to the investigation had been discovered and will be assessed. 

  • Conservatives Decry A "Politicized" Justice Department, Unless Trump Proposes It

    Blog ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Many right-wing pundits praised Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s pledge to “instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor” to “jail” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server, a threat mainstream journalists compared to what “dictators” do in a “banana republic.” Yet conservatives’ support for Trump’s planned abuses of governmental power is particularly hypocritical given that during the FBI and Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into Clinton’s email use, right-wing media claimed the agencies were “politicized” and “corrupt.” It seems that a politicized Justice Department is fine so long as it achieves the right’s political goals.

    During the second presidential debate, Trump warned Clinton, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” adding that she “would be in jail” under his administration.

    Trump’s “unprecedented” threat was in line with what “dictators” do in “banana republics,” many journalists noted. CNN’s Dana Bash warned that Trump’s comments parallel the sorts of things “dictators and totalitarian leaders” like “Stalin or Hitler” did.

    Yet conservative pundits cheered Trump’s dangerous attack with alacrity. Fox News host Steve Doocy called the threat “amazing,” Fox contributor Scott Brown cheered the line as a “home run,” and CNN’s Kayleigh McEnany applauded the threat as “a humorous line of retort.” Bill O'Reilly dubbed the attack "the smartest thing [Trump] did all night," and Trump ally and dirty trickster Roger Stone said Trump “scored.”

    Aside from aligning themselves with a pledge hinting at serious abuses of governmental power, the right-wing are highlighting their double standard for the integrity of democratic institutions. Conservatives led a full-throated, but baseless, crusade against the FBI, DOJ, and the White House after FBI Director James Comey recommended that the DOJ not indict Clinton following the investigation related to her use of a private email server.

    Right-wing pundits attacked the FBI and DOJ for their “disregard for the rule of law” and claimed the decision is evidence that “the government is corrupt.” They asserted that the “highly politicized” DOJ is “no longer … an effective, impartial enforcer of the law” and instead is allowing “corruption [to] fester and grow.” Conservatives even attacked President Obama for endorsing Clinton amid the FBI investigation, claiming that his support revealed “a man who sees the Constitution as an impediment to be disregarded.”

    That conservatives attacked the FBI and DOJ for allegedly flouting the law after they failed to deliver the desired result -- a Clinton indictment that would land her in jail -- but openly cheer Trump’s dictatorial threat to jail a political opponent reveals that politics eclipse the law in the right’s quest for power. Though right-wing calls for Clinton to be jailed are not new on the campaign trail, the embrace of Trump’s newest threat has lifted the veil on the right’s hypocrisy in terms of respecting the rule of law.

  • Chuck Todd Highlights FBI Director “Myth-Busting” Right Wing Media’s Fact-Free Clinton Email Myths

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    MSNBC’s Chuck Todd highlighted FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress which debunked several right-wing media myths about Clinton’s email, including the accusation that Romanian hacker “Guccifer” breached Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    During the July 7 edition of MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily, Todd reported on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s hearing with Director Comey. Todd highlighted Comey’s “myth-busting” of several theories about Clinton’s private server, including a part of Comey’s testimony that debunked right-wing media reports that Guccifer gained access to Clinton's server, stating that the hacker “admitted that was a lie.”

    On multiple occasions, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and other right-wing media figures baselessly hyped Guccifer’s claim that he hacked Clinton's email server, despite the fact officials reported no evidence to support that claim.

    CHUCK TODD: It's possible his words on Tuesday, if left alone, would have made for a stronger condemnation of Clinton's judgment. Instead Republicans put a spotlight on a series of what turned out to have Comey myth-busting various theories surrounding her private server that may have not been overturned. 

    [...]

    Comey publicly shut down another myth that's been out there, the assertion from a hacker, who of course goes by the name of “Guccifer,” that he somehow gained access to Clinton's server while she was secretary of state. 

    [VIDEO IN]

    BLAKE FARENTHOLD: Can you confirm that Guccifer never gained access to her server?

    JAMES COMEY: He did not. He admitted that was a lie.

    [VIDEO OUT]