Wash. Post Editorial Board: Republicans Are Damaging Rule Of Law By Attacking FBI Director Comey

The Washington Post criticized Republicans' “disheartening” attacks on FBI Director James Comey following his announcement that he would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, arguing that Republicans, not Comey, are doing “damage ... to the rule of law” by “cast[ing] baseless aspersions on U.S. law enforcement in the service of their partisan goals.”

As the Post explained in its editorial, “Republican leaders had practically promised supporters that Ms. Clinton would be indicted” as a result of the FBI investigation into her private email server. Instead, Comey “explained that the facts of the case did not conform to the fevered partisan fantasies that have developed around them — did not, in other words, merit prosecution. So GOP leaders decided to attack the fact-finder.” Republican lawmakers have announced they will question Comey on Capitol Hill about the results of the FBI investigation.

From the July 7 Washington Post editorial:

If Republicans believe the FBI director is corrupt and political, they should have the gumption to say so. Instead, many have insulted James B. Comey with slimy implications and underhanded threats since Tuesday, when he announced that he would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton relating to her use of a private email server while secretary of state.


Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a veiled threat to Mr. Comey: “If it wants to avoid giving the impression that the FBI was pulling punches,” he said, “the agency must now be more transparent than ever in releasing information gathered during its investigation,” presumably so that he and other Republicans can transfigure new details into fresh “proof” of criminality. Not to be outdone, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) will haul Mr. Comey before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for a grilling Thursday.

Several other Republicans, meanwhile, called for a new investigation and an independent counsel. As with Benghazi, their motto seems to be: Keep investigating until we get the outcome we want.

“It appears damage is being done to the rule of law,” Mr. Ryan said. He’s right, but the FBI director isn’t doing the damage. The wreckers are those who cast baseless aspersions on U.S. law enforcement in the service of their partisan goals.