by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A “good friend” of former FBI Director James Comey’s said he is “very much” looking forward to what the upcoming Justice Department inspector general report on the Clinton email investigation has to say about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch — the former Obama administration official now engaged in a war of words with Comey.
Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of Lawfare, wrote at length Wednesday about the backstory of Comey’s new tell-all memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. While he said Comey isn’t without blame for how he handled the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized private email server, he said the consideration of other decision-makers, “particularly Lynch,” paint a full picture for those people who believe the probe was a “train wreck” that cost Clinton the 2016 presidential election.
Noting the “selective outrage” against Comey for announcing the case was reopened less than two weeks before the election, Wittes said, “Lynch was a compromised figure with respect to the emails ‘matter.'” …
… Wittes also decried how Lynch and her deputy, Sally Yates, appeared to finesse the situation so that Comey remained the face of the investigation, even though Lynch never recused herself, even after her controversial tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton.
“Yet Lynch refused to recuse herself, even as she also said she would accept the recommendations of her investigative team — a kind of non-recusal recusal that all but guaranteed that the investigation would not close credibly,” Wittes wrote. “Her deputy, Sally Yates, did not persuade her to step aside. In October, when Comey decided to inform Congress of new investigative steps, both women contented themselves with staff-level messages objecting.”