In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joseph DiGenova gave a stark assessment of what led to FBI Director James Comey’s recent decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, after an investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal led to the discovery of thousands of emails on the computer of Weiner’s estranged wife, top Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.
The picture painted by DiGenova, based on what he says are discussions with current and former FBI agents, is one of “seething” rage inside the Bureau at the way Comey handled the investigation concerning Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Mr. DiGenova eviscerated the way Comey conducted his investigation and explained that he believes it has tarnished the FBI director’s reputation permanently, telling Breitbart News:
The original so-called ‘investigation’ was not an investigation. It was not thorough. It was not professional. As far as we know there was no grand jury, which an ordinary investigation would have. There were no grand jury subpoenas, there were no search warrants. Immunities were given out like candy. Attorneys were allowed to represent multiple witnesses and defendants which is completely inconsistent with federal policy and ethical standards. The list is endless.
The original investigation was not intended to be a real investigation. Comey decided — for political reasons– that he wanted to exonerate Hillary Clinton and the only answer to why he wanted to do that was because he didn’t want to be responsible for recommending the prosecution of the first female nominee of a major political party for President of the United States.
They followed none of the protocols that they ordinarily would have attained in such a prosecution. And the proof that that is the case is the letter that he sent to Congress, in which he announced that he was basically reopening the case because they had newly discovered evidence which was evidence on the laptop shared by Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner. If the original investigation had been conducted properly they would have known about that laptop, and they would have known about the tens of thousands of emails that related to the earlier investigation.
It is inconceivable to me that they did not learn about that other device, given the fact that Huma Abedin was interviewed, she allegedly gave up certain devices — but apparently not this one.
It’s no wonder that people who I have spoken to inside the Bureau and outside the Bureau view Comey as a dirty cop because they believe he has brought disrepute on the agency. The letter he sent just shows how bad the first investigation was.
People in the FBI are very disappointed in Comey’s leadership. They believe that he is unfit to serve, they believe he has no moral authority to lead the Bureau, they believe that he has created a double standard of justice established by his investigation into Clinton, that he has undermined the rule of law, that he has no credibility, and that he has become an embarrassment to the Bureau.
That is generally the thought certainly among former Bureau people, and it is certainly among the field agents and among the people in that building in Washington. There just is no doubt that the manner in which he has conducted himself has really, really sent a shiver through that building. And had it not been for that letter that he sent the other day, that he would be probably be facing a joint-Congressional resolution of no confidence in his leadership of the Bureau.
Ask whether the increasingly loud drumbeat of leaks coming from within the FBI were a factor in Comey’s decision to send the letter to Congress that started the firestorm of controversy, DiGenova pulls no punches in his assessment.
Well, he didn’t have any choice. He had to send the letter once he was confronted with the evidence of the New York investigation. If he hadn’t sent the letter, there would have been leaks out of New York and he would have been embarrassed. So, he sent the letter because he didn’t have any choice and it’s as simple as that. I mean, they were gonna leak it, and he knew it.
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told reporters on Saturday that the campaign continues to stand with Huma Abedin but DiGenova believes that the continuing investigation is unlikely to bode well for Abedin.
Huma Abedin is facing the possible criminal charges involving the laptop — what was on it, how it got there, what’s the classification. She may have lied to the FBI, denying the existence of such a laptop. So there’s all sorts of things; false statements, prosecutions, classified information.
Mr. DiGenova believes that had he not succumbed to political pressure, director Comey still could have served the interests of justice without Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.
Comey missed a golden opportunity in the original investigation. Here’s what he should have done, instead of trying to be Sir Lancelot and trying to free Hillary Clinton from this. What he should have done was said “Here’s what we’re gonna do, Lorreta Lynch. These people have violated the law, clearly and thoroughly. Let’s offer everybody a misdemeanor. They all get to keep their civil rights, she can keep running for President, but we will have accountability.”
When you go back and look at it, you have to ask yourself “does this guy have half a brain?” He really thought that people were stupid and they weren’t gonna understand what he was doing? He found out very quickly inside the Bureau that people were pretty smart and they didn’t like what he did.
DiGenova made it clear to Breitbart News that he believes that Comey has now painted himself into a corner, primarily by botching the first investigation so thoroughly and now by incurring the wrath of the Clinton campaign, with no clear pre-election exit strategy.
He has obviously succumbed to pressure, he folded like a cheap suit by sending a letter because of the manifestly improper decision that he made originally to not prosecute. He shouldn’t say anything further, in light of his statement. If they conclude the investigation in the next few days and he comes out publicly and says there’s nothing there, I don’t know what will happen inside the Bureau. The place is seething right now. Some of the more senior former FBI officials are absolutely livid.
You may have seen former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom’s comments, in which he was just extremely critical of Director Comey. I would hope that we don’t hear anymore from Comey, but at this point he appears to be under some mental stress and he may very well top it and say something additional about it, but then that will show the investigation he’s now conducting was just not through again. So it’s hard to say what he’s gonna do, I think the guy’s in some sort of downwards spiral.
While the Clinton campaign appears to have waged all-out war on Comey and the FBI in the wake of Friday’s bombshell, DiGenova told Breitbart News that he believes the strategy will backfire because of resistance from within the FBI.
I think there’s going to be leaks. If this is gonna be the Democrat’s strategy to save Hillary Clinton, there will be further leaks. There will be leaks of substance, there will be leaks about emails. Comey cannot control the investigation in New York. The reason the first investigation was a flop was that, it wasn’t a real investigation, he kept it at headquarters, he kept it at his office, so there were no field agents involved even though there were a lot of people assigned to it they were given very limited rolls. You look at the 302s, which are questions from the FBI, these are interview notes, the questions are sophomoric, there’s no follow up.
Hillary Clinton says she can’t remember 39 times in her interviews. They went to Comey and said she can’t remember because she had a head injury — alright, let’s get her medical records. Comey said absolutely not, we are not subpoenaing her medical records. So it’s fairly obvious that he cut them off at the pass, he didn’t allow them to do their job and they all knew that.
Since Comey has no real allies at the moment facing Republicans who are still upset about the first investigation, the Clinton campaign and Democrats digging in for battle, and anger still boiling in the ranks of the FBI, DiGenova says he thinks tougher times are likely ahead for the FBI director.
It’s not at all surprising that the institution which is known for it’s integrity, known for it’s professionalism, it’s thoroughness, reacted violently to his incompetent inscription of their investigation. Comey has a mutiny on his hands. If he doesn’t watch himself, he’s gonna get really roughed up.