Steve Hilton: Will Comey be held accountable for his behavior? Law enforcement cannot be above the law
Here are four specific areas where there are serious grounds to suspect that James Comey broke the law while he was FBI Director:
First, his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Why was no Grand Jury empanelled in this case? Why was no search warrant issued? Why was immunity granted to Clinton aides, which effectively stripped Congress of its power to issue subpoenas to gather evidence from phones and laptops before they were destroyed?
And does all this amount to Obstruction of Justice?
Second, the manner in which James Comey closed the Clinton email investigation. He testified to Congress that he made the decision to clear Hillary Clinton after she was interviewed by the FBI. But FBI documents suggest that it was before. Does this constitute Perjury/Lying to Congress?
Third, Comey has publicly admitted that he gave memos recording his interactions with President Trump to a friend at Columbia Law School with the intention that the contents would be leaked to the media in order to prompt the appointment of a Special Counsel. These were documents created on an FBI computer and which dealt with an ongoing, highly sensitive investigation. Reasonable observers would conclude that these memos were FBI property. So: does leaking them in this unauthorized way mean Comey is guilty of Theft of Government Property or Records?
Finally, the infamous Russia dossier which was used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Two Congressional Committees have already established that the FBI knew the dossier was largely fabricated – indeed James Comey himself described it as “salacious and unverified.” The FBI also knew that it was paid for by the Clinton campaign (as part of the campaign), and that the dossier was compiled by someone with a clearly stated bias against Donald Trump. The FBI knew that they needed the dossier to spy on the Trump campaign, and so relied on it to obtain the FISA warrant anyway.
All of this may be profoundly unethical and disturbing. But the legal question is: do these actions pass the threshold for Abuse of Power, Perjury, Making False and Misleading Statements, and again, Obstruction of Justice?