We were struck by a comment New York Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, made last week after former FBI Director James Comey testified before the committee, still controlled by the Republicans. Asked if he planned to shut down the Republican-led investigation into the Department of Justice and FBI decision-making during and after the 2016 presidential election, Nadler said,
Yes. Because it’s a waste of time to start with. The entire purpose of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation, which is Mueller. There’s no evidence whatsoever of bias at the FBI or any other nonsense they’re talking about.
“No evidence whatsoever?” Weren’t several senior FBI officials fired because of palpable anti-Trump e-mails and bias? Wasn’t there a lengthy investigation and damning report by the Inspector General of questionable DOJ-FBI actions? Are the names Comey, McCabe, Stzrock, Page already forgotten? Did the revelations of apparent FBI’s misuse of the Steele Dossier and misleading of the FISA court never happen? Was there no hue and cry about the special treatment the DOJ and FBI accorded Mrs. Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail server while serving as Secretary of State?
Indeed, did the Congressman miss this riveting exchange between his Judiciary Committee colleague Trey Gowdy and former FBI Director James Comey?
Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said she never sent or received any classified information over her private e-mail, was that true?
Comey: Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.
Gowdy: It was not true?
Comey: That’s what I said…
Gowdy: …Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her e-mails sent or received. Was that true?
Comey: That’s not true…
Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said [she] used one [e-mail] device, was that true?
Comey: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as Secretary of State.
Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said all work related emails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?
Comey: No. We found work related email, thousands, that were not returned.
Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted work related emails from her personal account.
Comey: …[T]here’s no doubt that that [there were] work related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.
Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?
So on its face there were palpable misstatements of fact to FBI agents by a seasoned pubic official (possibly felonies) regarding whether she was guilty of having committed several other felonies. Yet Comey, after knowing all the contents of this veritable criminal charge sheet, recommended in 2016 that Clinton not be prosecuted or even investigated further – despite the fact that the entire questioning of Secretary Clinton lasting all of three hours!
Not only was this something at odds with simple logic and long-standing FBI procedures, but it also constituted an unprecedented arrogation of decision-making authority by an official of an investigating agency. And then there was the astonishing revelation of Comey’s having drafted the no prosecution memo well before the Clinton interview.
Have we forgotten those many instances of bending the rules in favor of Mrs. Clinton, the provenance of the notorious Steele Dossier, the palpable bias on the part of senior FBI personnel. How can a Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, charged with the responsibility of seeing to it that we don’t become a banana republic, give all of this the back of his hand. Just think about the level of wrongdoing in the Department of Justice that the DOJ Inspector General was able to identify – even without subpoena power.
The persecution of General Michael Flynn, involving far less evidence of lying to the FBI, only underscores that something has happened to our criminal justice system. No longer will we as a nation be able to entertain the notion of a politically neutral Department of Justice or FBI.
To be sure, under Sen. Lindsay Graham, the Senate Judiciary Committee will doubtless pursue the apparent corruption of our criminal justice system. The question remains, though, whether Congressman Nadler wants to be part of the solution or remain part of the problem.