Concerning the Inspector General’s report about the FBI’s conduct of the Hillary email investigation, let’s take a step back from the details and offer a few observations on the wider scene.
1. We may have abolished monarchy in America way back in 1776, but it seems we haven’t quite rid ourselves of royal prerogative. Then-FBI director James Comey took it upon himself to decide not to apply consistent procedure in conducting the investigation for reasons that he’ll never candidly explain, but it seems reasonable to surmise that he took politics into consideration. Consider this: if Comey had charged Hillary with violating the law in a fashion consistent with other such offenders, we might well have Joe Biden as president today. Suck on that, Democrats.
2. Deep State or Derp State? It is apparent that many in the FBI wanted to stop Trump from winning the election. But by giving Hillary a pass, they assured Trump’s election. (David French makes this case very well here.) How’s that for political competence?
3. If I didn’t know any better, I might suspect Comey and his effective successor Robert Mueller are part of an elaborate House of Cards-style plot to place Mike Pence in the Oval Office. First you take out Hillary, then you try to take out Trump. Voila! Of course, House of Cards fizzled out badly by the third season.
4. Trump’s biggest mistake in this whole timeline was firing Comey.
5. Trump’s biggest mistake in this whole timeline was not firing Comey.
How to square these last two? This way: For once, Trump’s sense of timing acquired from his show business experience was off. By firing Comey four months into his presidency, supposedly at the advice of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who thought there’d be no political blowback, Trump virtually assured that a special counsel would be appointed to continue the Russia snipe hunt. Trump should have fired Comey on January 20, his first day in office. The political blowback would have been much less intense, and it would have sent a salutary message to the FBI and other precincts of the bureaucracy.