Sari Horwitz and Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post report
Senior FBI officials were informed about the discovery of new emails potentially relevant to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server at least two weeks before Director James B. Comey notified Congress, according to federal officials familiar with the investigation.
The officials said that Comey was told that there were new emails before he received a formal briefing last Thursday, although the precise timing is unclear.
The information goes beyond the details provided in the letter that Comey sent to lawmakers last week declaring that he was restarting the inquiry into whether Clinton mishandled classified material during her tenure as secretary of state. He wrote in the Friday letter that “the investigative team briefed me yesterday” about the additional emails.
Almost everyone who read Comey’s letter was mislead because “briefed me yesterday” is truth and nothing but the truth, but not the whole relevant truth. The word “yesterday” is accurate, but its only effect is to mislead. The statement “I was told something about the e-mails yesterday” is not logically inconsistent with “and also weeks ago,” but the normal rules for understanding ordinary English imply an interpretation inconsistent with the facts. James Comey is a very skilled lawyer. He knew what he was doing. He deliberately mislead Congress.
More importantly, the anonymous FBI personal talking to the Post can’t get their story straight.
Comey did not notify Congress as soon as he learned about the emails because officials wanted additional information before proceeding, the officials said.
If they were willing to follow proper Justice Department procedures, they would have also wanted, indeed insisted, that the election pass before proceeding.
But now everything is different because metadata.
Even after Comey received the desired information, major questions still remain — for instance, how many emails are related to Clinton or contain classified information.
It is unclear what FBI agents have learned since discovering the emails in early October. But officials say they gained enough information from the email metadata to take the next step, seeking a warrant to review the actual emails.
Comey also needed to get out of the period of 60 days before an election to take the next step. I assume that it was legal for the FBI to look at meta data. But it sure doesn’t seem that they have at least 2s weeks looking at metadata. it is clear what FBI agents haven’t learned since discovdring the e-mails. The sender and recipient of an e-mail are metadata. They should know if any of the e-mails were sent to or received from Hillary Clinton.
The current FBI position is that they learned something in the last two weeks of October *and* that they know nothing nothing. The anonymous source is taking advantage of the facts that he or she is anonymous (and not under oath). The explanation of the delay of over two weeks but not 11 days more is plainly false. Horwitz and Nakashima pretty much write this. In Postspeak “It is unclear” means “he’s lying” (or “she’s lying” but certainly not “s/he’s lying” because the “s/he” is even more unacceptable than the “lying”).
The utter contempt for Justice Department rules is underlined by this quote from the liar
“He needed to make an informed decision, knowing that once he made that decision, he was taking it to another level,” an official with knowledge of the decision-making process said.”
He absolutely did not need to make a decision about whether to seek a warrant until next Wednesday. After making that decision, he was forbidden by department rules to take it to another level.
I’m shifting to wild speculation after the jump.
So why did Comey wait 2 weeks but not 2 weeks + 11 days ? The most natural explanation is that his aim was to get Donald Trump elected. This explanation fits the facts. I don’t think it is correct mainly because I doubt that Comey will personally vote for Trump (he doesn’t seem to me to be the type). In the past, I would also have thought that such an abuse of office was inconsistent with what I imagined was Comey’s integrity. I now believe in Comey’s integrity no more than I believe in the tooth fairy.
I’d guess he felt his hand was forced by his subordinates who were about to leak the (trivial) news (whether or not he authorized seeking a warrant).
I also think he felt forced to write a letter designed to hurt Clinton. I can see no other explanation for failing to mention that fact that the FBI did not have a warrant and (presumably) knew nothing about the content of the e-mails. The deliberately deceptive “yesterday” is an explanation of the sudden rush. He couldn’t write “because I feared a leak by out of control FBI agents”.
As I type this feels like special pleading. I clearly didn’t understand Comey. For all I know he supports Trump.