Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

James Comey…A Surprise in the White House Race | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55361582

File photo of FBI Director James Comey by Carlos Barria/Reuters

Washington- James Comey, FBI director has put himself and his influential judicial and security institution in an unprecedented situation, after announcing the reopening of investigations of Hillary Clinton’s private mail server. Comey has dragged himself to face accusations of intentional intervention in the U.S. presidential elections’ results.

Since he took his decision, Comey has been rained with criticisms from the democrats, former and current officials, historians, and political analysts because of the timing he chose, which will definitely affect the elections’ path. This timing will launch a wave of questions and suspicions concerning the content of the discovered mails. Clinton will never have time to clear herself, and the procedures that will be taken in case she is convicted are still unknown.

Many questions have been raised about Comey’s aims from this step and its critical timing. Some said that the man has tried to protect himself more than the campaign, while others have seen that Comey intended to destabilize the U.S. public and his trust in the FBI.

However, U.S. President Barack Obama, who appointed Comey in September 2013, was the first defender. In an interview on Wednesday, he said: “when we have ongoing investigation, there are no regulations to stick to”. Then, he insisted on maintaining his neutrality concerning this matter, which is supposed to be independent.

Comey’s decision has been attacked not only from the democrats, who were concerned about their presidential candidate’s situation and her chances to win elections, but also by Republican officials. Senator Chuck Grassley considered that Comey’s letter was confusing because he didn’t make clear the steps that will be taken by the FBI office and the emergency to reconsider these messages in this timing. Grassley saw that investigations should not be discrete or postponed till after the elections.

As per the FBI, no one wants to anticipate the repercussions in the coming days; but, the confusion and secrecy that dominate the office pushed some observers to expect these emails to bring big surprises.

The New York Times newspaper, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton for presidency, has launched a fierce campaign against Comey. It said that the FBI’s official’s statements has led to a major disturbance in the presidential campaign and that he didn’t consider the repercussions of his announcement and its timing days before the elections.

According to the Academic Sanford Ongar, he considered that Comey didn’t take his decision to affect the elections’ results, but to show himself as a decent man before the U.S. administration and people.

On the other hand, many people have defended the FBI’s official and saw that he took the right decision based on his professional principles.

This was not the first time for Comey in creating such uproar. In 2004, he challenged the White House and refused to respond to approve a wiretapping process for the National Security Agency (NSA). At that time, Comey also faced heavy critics and solely led his battle during the war against terrorism campaign launched by Georges Bush.

Personal information

James Comey, born on 14 December 1960 in New York; he is married and has five children. He is a member of the Republican party and has financially supported the campaign of Candidate John McCain in 2008.

He holds a BA in Law from the Law school in Chicago University. From 1996-2001, Comey served as Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He served in many positions in the Department of Justice including the General Prosecutor on New York.