So, let’s review what took place:
Tuesday, June 28: Former President Bill Clinton suddenly appears to Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the cabin of her airplane parked on the tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona. Secret Service agents deny access to news photos and videos of the visit. They visit for 30 minutes.
Thursday, June 29: Lynch denies that any discussion with Bill Clinton of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal took place, and states that she expects to accept the recommendation of the FBI as to further actions in the Clinton case. She does not, however, recuse herself or appoint a Special Prosecutor. The FBI also announces that the Clinton interview will take place on this coming Saturday, during the holiday weekend.
Friday, June 30: Hillary Clinton campaign leaks that Loretta Lynch may be retained in her present job under a Hillary Clinton administration.
Saturday, July 1: Hillary Clinton’s long-delayed interview with the FBI takes place. It lasts 3 1/2 hours. Clinton not under oath. FBI Director Comey does not attend, will not reveal who was in attendance.
Tuesday, July 5: FBI Director Comey conducts a press conference without questions. Details a long list of Clinton’s violations, but concludes that he met with prosecutors and decided not to make a criminal referral for either convening a Grand Jury or an indictment because she didn’t mean to do anything bad. He cited “reasonable prosecutors” (presumably the ones he consulted) who would not want to prosecute the case.
Tuesday, July 5: While Comey was making his announcement, President Barack Obama, in a previously scheduled appearance, was campaigning in North Carolina with Hillary Clinton.
Wednesday, July 6: Attorney General Lynch announces that she accepts the recommendation of Comey and will not review the evidence herself.
What really happened appears to be that Bill Clinton successfully conveyed to Loretta Lynch that she would keep her job if Hillary is elected. Lynch then successfully conveyed to Comey that she expected a clean referral from the FBI. Finally, Comey undertook a nearly unprecedented step by publicly announcing all the reasons for a criminal referral, then refusing to follow his own logic. In the meantime, Obama, boss of Lynch and Tomey, obviously knew well in advance what the outcome of this charade would be and scheduled accordingly.
There has already been a mountain of commentary on this sequence of events. Two aspects stand out to me. The first is how a heretofore well-respected public servant stood before a decision which impacts the future of America no matter which alternative he chooses. He chose the lesser path. He proved that, when the cards are all face up on the table, he could not summon the courage to take his appointed place in the nation’s history by exposing the corruption of the highest law enforcement officials in our government and of the law and the U.S. Constitution he has sworn to uphold.
Ironically, he made his fateful decision on the Fourth of July, when we commemorate the men such as Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty or give me death!”) and Nathan Hale (“I regret that I have but one life to give for my country!”) Instead he joined Chief Justice John Roberts, who faced a similar choice in the matter of Obamacare. Like Comey, he chose to abandon the rule of law and take a coward’s way out of the dilemma by inventing a new and illogical interpretation of the Constitution. Much as Comey invented a new role for the FBI, which has always been the investigator, not the prosecutor.
The second feature of this unspeakably tragic event is how blatant it all was. There was not even a significant attempt to hide the corruption of this sequence of actions. The participants simply acted out their contempt for the law right there in the public square, where no one who was paying attention could miss the fact that the highest law enforcement officials of our country blithely participated in bribery, subversion of their offices, outright lies, and reinforcing the already widespread impression that there is one law for the elite and another for the rest of us.
We can never again claim without hypocrisy that “no one is above the law”. That fallacy was certainly obvious when none of the bankers and accountants whose malfeasance caused the real estate crash of 2008 went to jail or were even prosecuted. But even that situation does not rival this one for audacity and notoriety. Americans are left with the prospect of a criminal becoming our next president. Mr. Comey had the rare opportunity to join Patrick Henry and Nathan Hale this Fourth of July. Instead, he looked to Benedict Arnold.