Even The Washington Post editorial board is calling the accusation that James Comey is intentionally meddling in the presidential election absurd.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accused him of “partisan actions” in violation of federal law, after Comey notified Congress Friday the FBI is reopening the investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails. “Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” Reid wrote in a letter to Comey Sunday, referring to the Hatch Act.
The press quickly picked up Reid’s letter and ran with it, amplifying a wave of criticism from the left over Comey’s decision. The Hatch Act bans officials from intentionally using their authority to influence the outcome of an election.
Comey’s decision will no doubt influence the election, but the idea he is willfully trying to sabotage Clinton flys in the face of a reputation he has built over decades as a nonpartisan. If anything, it seems more likely it’s his disregard for the political implications of his decision that’s getting him into trouble, not a desire to harm the Clinton campaign.
The Washington Post conceded as much in an editorial Tuesday that is actually criticial of Comey’s decision, calling Reid’s accusation an absurd allegation that has “no basis” in reality. In the course of a discussion about how to mitigate the effect Comey’s decision will have on the election, the editorial board writes:
“For Ms. Clinton and the Democrats, doing no harm would mean not imputing base motives to FBI Director James B. Comey or absurdly alleging, as did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), that Mr. Comey may have violated the Hatch Act by intentionally seeking to get Mr. Trump elected. For one thing, such allegations sound silly coming from people who practically canonized Mr. Comey a few months ago when he announced that there were no grounds to prosecute Ms. Clinton. For another, whatever the wisdom of Mr. Comey’s actions, there is no basis for such allegations, as President Obama’s spokesman said Monday.”
And this is coming from the same outlet whose own journalists have participated in the wild swing from lauding Comey as a man of integrity following his decision not to recommend charges against Clinton, to denigrating him just a few months later as someone trying to use his power to get Trump elected.
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