Public disquiet that two standards of justice exist in America - depending on whether your name is Trump, Clinton or Comey - is undermining the rule of law
Although cleared of any collusion with Russia after a 30 months, $35 million investigation conducted in strictest secrecy by Special Counsel Robert Mueller - President Trump is now being targeted for possible impeachment on the grounds of obstruction of justiceof Mueller's investigation. Hearings in the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee are conducted publicly and reported breathlessly by the media - causing political damage to the President and his prospects for re-electionin 2020 - whether he is impeached or not.
Throwing enough dirt in this privileged and protected atmosphere and repeating it night and day on the airwaves and newspapers will affect public opinion and voter intentions.
Contrast the two reports by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz in 2018 and 2019 out of sight of the medias' gaze– with a third to be released soon.
The 2018 Report dealt with the failure to prosecute Hilary Clinton and the role FBI director James Comey played in that decision.
Horowitz in his Statement on 19 June 2018 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and the Judiciary concerning "Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election"asserted:
With regard to the decision to close the investigation [of Clinton] without prosecution, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were the result of improper considerations, including political bias, but rather were based on the prosecutors' assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice.
Conversely, we found that the FBI's explanations for its failure to take immediate action after discovering the Weiner laptop in October 2016 to be unpersuasive, and we did not have confidence that the decision of Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.
We also found that, in key moments, then FBI Director James Comey clearly departed from FBI and Department norms, and his decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the Department as fair administrators of justice. Director Comey concealed from the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General his intention to make a unilateral announcement in July about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute former Secretary Clinton. His July 5 statement included inappropriate commentary about uncharged conduct, announced his views on what a "reasonable prosecutor" would do, and served to confuse rather than clarify public understanding of his recommendation. In late October, he again acted without adequately consulting Department leadership – and contrary to important Department norms – when he sent a letter to Congress announcing renewed investigative activity days before the election.
Horowitz 's 2019 Report of Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey's Disclosure of Sensitive Investigative Information and Handling of Certain Memoranda is a scathing indictment on Comey's propensity to leak - using others to conceal his identity - that justified Trump dismissing Comey as FBI Director.
Comey's claim that there was no political bias in his decision making has been challenged by Horowitz's two reports.
Theprosecutors' assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice to justify not charging Clinton in 2016 seems to have been overtaken by new facts uncovered by Horowitz indicating there is now additional prima facie evidence to have supported her indictment.
Justice must be seen to be done if the rule of law is to have any meaning.
Horowitz's third Report could spell curtains for both Clinton and Comey in 2020.
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