Former FBI director James Comey has already been exonerated by the Justice Department twice: first, when the personal notes his lawyer leaked about his interactions with Donald Trump were found to include no classified information; second, when the Inspector General of the Justice Department found no political bias behind the counterintelligence probe launched by the FBI in 2016. That second finding was a huge win for Comey after Donald Trump and all his henchmen had pinned all their hopes on the IG delivering a scathing review of the origins of the Russia probe.
But never fear, with Attorney General Bill Barr in charge, there’s always another politically motivated investigation to be hatched to mollify Trump. Comey is apparently in the hot seat once more, this time related to the years-old leak of a classified document—deemed to be a Russian intelligence fake—suggesting that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had promised the Hillary Clinton campaign that the email probe would remain innocuous.
The FBI determined the document, which was later reported on by both the Washington Post and the New York Times, was disinformation intended to mislead investigators. Fearing that the document might be leaked at the time, Comey reportedly decided to announce the end of the Clinton investigation in July 2016 without informing Lynch in advance, a highly unusual move meant to inoculate the decision to close the case from further scrutiny.
Classified materials leaked to the press are typically investigated around the time they first appear in press reports, according to the Times. So deciding to undertake an investigation in 2020 of a leak that occurred in 2017 has raised eyebrows, especially since Trump disdains Comey and often calls him the “leaker.” The investigation will also be particularly difficult due to the passage of time and the wide universe of people briefed on the document, including lawmakers and Trump administration officials. The new probe now stands alongside another investigation being conducted by the Washington U.S. Attorney of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, one of Trump’s other favorite targets of derision.
But frankly, the twin investigations of Trump’s FBI enemies are two in a cluster of inquiries hatched by Barr to achieve Trump’s ends. Barr appears to have had some role in the Ukraine scandal though certainly more reporting is needed. He’s also been actively involved in aiding the criminal probe of the origins of the Russia inquiry he assigned to U.S. Attorney John Durham.
Prepare yourself now for the investigation Barr dreams up to harass whoever the Democratic nominee is. Either the candidate or their deputies or whoever will become the target of an investigation, however bogus, designed to raise suspicion about their candidacy.