[ this post has updates where indicated ]
Trust is in short supply this election. From sketchy media reports to friends, family and neighbors with different views, we’re a divided nation replete with conspiracy theorists, anarchists and contrarians ready to emerge from their underground bunkers to be the last and loudest voice in the room.
For many of them, being right is more important than being a neighbor, friend or collaborator. Being on top is more critical than being close.
The F.B.I.’s job is to investigate, not to influence the outcome of an election. — Richard Painter
Against this backdrop and in our current political climate, FBI Director James Comey inserted himself in our process with only a few days to go until Election Day. As Rachel Maddow and The Daily Beast have reported, there is an entire machine working to influence FBI investigations—including the way in which they’re communicated. I’m looking at you, Fox News.
Tune all that crap out. Stick to your guns. Don’t boo, vote. Disagree if you’re called to, but always love. Don’t sit around and complain there’s nothing to vote for. Secretary Clinton isn’t a perfect candidate—so if perfection is your expectation you’re engaged in the wrong process. Clinton is an able and dedicated public servant and will serve this country well.
Trump is so focused on being adored and being agreed with that we really have no idea where he stands on issues.
Given all that as a backdrop, Comey’s action is particularly galling because he was the unsung hero during the George W. Bush administration. Comey intervened against the U.S.’s illegal, warrantless wiretap program while John Ashcroft was in the hospital recovering from gallbladder surgery. Comey was acting AG at the time and defied the W. Bush administration to get his way. As the Washington Post points out, there are many within that former administration who disagree with Comey’s decision now.
To wit: I was most moved by this New York Times Opinion piece by Bush’s former chief white house ethics lawyer Richard Painter. He makes a strong case that Comey has violated the Hatch Act—which makes it illegal for officials to either inadvertently or purposefully influence an election. And he didn’t just write the op-ed, either.
I filed a complaint against the F.B.I. with the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations, and with the Office of Government Ethics. I spent much of my career working on government and lawyers’ ethics. … I never thought that the F.B.I. could be dragged into a political circus surrounding one of its investigations. Until this week. — Richard Painter
Don’t let the rogue actions of a taxpayer-funded public servant pull focus from your mission, which is to give this country the best future she can possibly imagine. VOTE.
UPDATE: The Hill is reporting that the Office of Special Counsel has “likely” opened an investigation based on Richard Painter’s complaint letter—as outlined in his New York Times op-ed. The won’t confirm nor deny, but “In general, OSC opens a case after receiving a complaint” the article states.
I’ll update again if something breaks.
And in the meantime, laugh a little.
“There’s a lot of love out there, and between the two of them, they really made people think about it.”
It was the sweetest of good-byes. It was also a lesson in how to love and let go. Boyd Huppert will win awards for this follow piece he did for Nightly News and 10,000 Stories.
Emmett and Erling may have been generations apart in age, but they were as close as friends as you can get.
“You stick with those you love until the very end.” Another great lesson observed by Emmet’s mother that we can all take to heart. ❏
That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you back here next Thursday at 2 p.m.
Will Pollock is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on retail, real estate, travel, politics and human interest. He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.
Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.