Did FBI Director James Comey abuse his power? | The Tylt
Did FBI Director James Comey abuse his power?
Richard Painter, a Bush administration ethics lawyer, filed a complaint against the FBI with the Office of Special Counsel (which investigates Hatch Act violations) and the Office of Government Ethics.
The Hatch Act is a law that prohibits government employees from using taxpayer-funded offices to play politics. "The New York Times" reported senior Justice Department officials tried to dissuade Mr. Comey from sending the letter, arguing it would violate department guidelines against discussing current criminal investigations or interfering in elections. No one from the FBI has even read the emails, and a full investigation of the new information will take weeks.
Why did Comey makes a highly unusual choice of sending a letter to Congress about the emails? Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald has an idea:
Arguably, he had to issue his letter because of previous statements he had made to Congress. In September, he testified that the bureau had completed its review of the evidence in the case and found no crimes had been committed. With the discovery of the information on the laptop shared by Weiner and Abedin, that sworn statement was no longer true, and there was new evidence that needed to be examined. As a result, Comey felt he was obligated to inform the committees as quickly as possible that his previous statement was now incorrect.