Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Wednesday that it is “not” FBI director James Comey’s job to say “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against Hillary Clinton.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday, George W. Bush’s former attorney general was asked to reflect on Comey’s decision to not recommend charges against Clinton. Gonzales said the decision was “surprising…. of course, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt without actually looking at the evidence. But given his public statements and what’s in the record, I’m a little bit surprised at the outcome.” (RELATED: FBI Recommends ‘NO CHARGES’ For Hillary Clinton [VIDEO])
“But you know what I’m really surprised about was the statement that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. That is not his job,” Gonzales insisted. “His job is to do the investigation, present the evidence and maybe privately as a former prosecutor give his assessment as to whether or not to move forward or not. But to say that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case, means that if anyone dares disagree, then you’re unreasonable.” (RELATED: ‘EXTREMELY CARELESS’ — FBI Director Comey Says Clinton Mishandled Classified Info [VIDEO])
“If Loretta Lynch decides to move forward, she’s unreasonable. And if she does, and I know it’s unlikely that she’s going to move forward with an indictment, what does that do to Jim Comey’s credibility and judgment? So I just think that statement was interesting,” he said.
Later, Gonzales argued, “Of course Jim Comey was my deputy attorney general when I served as attorney general so respect his service but again, his job is not to make an assessment as to whether or not there could be a prosecution. His job is to present the evidence and he can offer a recommendation or offer his opinion, but it is up to the prosecutors, either the US attorney, the head of the criminal division, and ultimately the attorney general of the United States to decide whether or not to move forward with the prosecution. That is not the job to have FBI director. So as an institutional matter, as someone who used to run that agency, I found that comment to be very troubling.”
During Comey’s press conference on Tuesday, he said, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”