If President Donald J. Trump hadn’t fired former FBI Director James Comey he might have been removed from office for violations of the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits federal government employees from engaging in political actions in an official capacity.
As reported by The Washington Times, the Office of Special Counsel was investigating Comey for possible violations of the law, but the probe was cut short after he was let go by Trump in May 2017.
The paper reported further:
Documents stemming from the investigation were released to Ty Clevenger, a lawyer who runs the Transparency Project and who is also pursuing bar sanctions against Mr. Comey, as well as former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The documents show dozens of complaints filed against Mr. Comey with the OSC saying he interfered with the 2016 election by the way he handled the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s secret emails.
In July 2016 — after predetermining that he would not pursue criminal charges against then-Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton over her criminal mishandling of classified emails months before — Comey held a bizarre news conference laying out all that agents had discovered during the probe and chastising Clinton for ‘carelessness’ without intent.
But then in late October of that year, just weeks before the Nov. 8 election, Comey sent a letter to Congress announcing that the bureau reopened the case based on emails that were discovered on a laptop owned by former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, then-husband to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. At the time Weiner himself was under investigation for sexting underaged girls.
That reopening of Clinton’s case was improper according to several complaints received by the OSC, which took them seriously enough to launch an investigation into Comey’s actions and motivations.
While it isn’t clear how far the investigation had gone by the time Comey was fired May 9, 2017, what is clear is that those who filed the complaints were convinced that the former FBI director had become ‘political’ while on the job.
Many of the complaints also said that Comey informed Congress of the bureau’s reopened email probe on Oct. 28 before agents even had a warrant to search Weiner’s laptop.
“By your actions you used the authority of your office, an office which is supposed to be politically impartial, to have a direct impact on the election, favoring one candidate over another, which is a clear violation of the Hatch Act,” said one complainant. “You have damaged the democracy you were hired to protect.”
The paper reported further that the OCS sent Comey a letter May 17 informing him that the investigation was being shuttered because he was no longer employed by the government.
Cleavenger told the Times that it’s become crystal clear at this point that Comey was playing partisan politics. That said, he also noted that he was surprised the OCS had even opened an investigation.
“It’s too bad the OSC didn’t have Comey’s book and his memos before he was fired, because he has made the case — better than anyone else — that he was playing politics at the FBI,” he said.
“Even so, I’m a little surprised that OSC would open an investigation based on a letter that he sent to Congress. That letter certainly had political consequences, but I don’t see how you could construe it as political activity,” he added.
Others disagreed, especially Democrats. They were furious at him for what they perceived as a direct act aimed at hurting Clinton’s chances (which we now know he did because he thought she had enough of a lead over Trump she would win the election anyway).
Whether or not Comey’s last-minute notification had any effect at all on the election outcome remains a mystery. What is not is that he may have been on his way out the door anyway, thanks to the previously unknown investigation by the OSC.
Whatever reputation Comey had after leaving government service has now been completely destroyed.
See more news about James Comey at JamesComey.news.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.