The New York courts have refused to pursue an investigation against former FBI Director James Comey and several other major figures involved in the Clinton email scandal, seemingly breaking their own rules in the process.
Ty Clevenger, a lawyer, had filed grievances against Mr. Comey and three others saying they violated fundamental rules of lawyers’ ethics by the way they handled the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The New York grievance commission, in a letter dated earlier this month, rejected all of the complaints without comment.
Under the commission’s own rules it is supposed to provide “a brief description of the basis for the determination,” so the move to dismiss the grievances without any reason was striking.
“The independent review has now taken place and I have been formally advised that the committee decided not to proceed further with your complaints,” Jorge Dopico, the chief attorney for the disciplinary committee’s first judicial department, said in the Jan. 9 letter.
“Accordingly, we cannot be of further assistance in these matters,” he concluded.
After multiple requests for comment a deputy for Mr. Dopico called back and confirmed that they were supposed to give a reason in their response, but said she was unable to say why that didn’t occur.
She declined to give any additional information, citing state law that she said prohibited her from even confirming cases were ongoing. She then abruptly hung up, delivering a sing-song “Goodbye!”
Mr. Clevenger had asked for investigations into Mr. Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, top Clinton family lawyer David E. Kendall and Beth A. Wilkinson, who served as lawyer for Mrs. Clinton’s top aides in the department.
In the case of Mr. Comey, Mr. Clevenger says he broke ethics rules by apparently leaking classified information to a professor and friend of his in order to shape the narrative surrounding his interactions with and later firing by President Trump.
“I’m disgusted but not surprised that a grievance committee would try to whitewash serious crimes by politically-powerful colleagues,” Mr. Clevenger said after receiving New York’s rejection. “I’ve seen it all over the country, in Republican and Democratic jurisdictions alike. If you are a lawyer with the right political connections, you can get away with almost anything.”
“Regardless of who they represent or how powerful they are, attorneys should not be permitted to destroy evidence, lie to Congress, or obstruct justice with impunity,” he said.
Mr. Clevenger has been fighting uphill battles in forums other than New York.
He won an initial round in Maryland, with a judge ordering the grievance commission to pursue an investigation. But the Democratic-controlled state appealed and the matter will be taken up in March at the state’s Court of Appeals.
Another challenge is pending in Arkansas against Mrs. Clinton, where Mr. Clevenger filed his grievance Sept. 1, 2016. He said the chief investigator there, a Democrat, refused to take action for nearly a year, then rejected the request, then forwarded it to a review committee where it’s now sat for four more months.
He said he’s planning to sue to force action there unless the committee acts soon.