Ex-Justice Official: Comey’s Announcement ‘Raises Serious Questions About His Judgment’

Director James B. Comey
Director James B. Comey
Guest Columnist for the Washington Post

Matthew Miller was director of the Justice Department’s public affairs office from 2009 to 2011.

FBI Director James B. Comey’s stunning announcement that he has directed investigators to begin reviewing new evidence in the Clinton email investigation was yet another troubling violation of long-standing Justice Department rules or precedent, conduct that raises serious questions about his judgment and ability to serve as the nation’s chief investigative official.

Comey’s original sin came in July, when he held a high-profile news conference to announce his recommendation that the Justice Department bring no charges against Hillary Clinton. In doing so, Comey violated Justice rules about discussing ongoing cases and, as I argued at the time, made assertions that exceeded FBI authority, recklessly speculated about matters for which there was no evidence, and upended the consultative process that should exist between investigators and prosecutors.

Comey argued that his news conference was necessary in a case of intense public interest, but as his actions in the months since have shown, the precedent he set has led only to increasingly problematic outcomes.

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