The Man Who Could Decide the Election?

The man who could decide the election is James Comey.

Who is he? Mr. Comey is the Director of the FBI. He was sworn in back in 2013.

If the FBI is going to recommend charges for Hillary Clinton due to her e-mail troubles, it has to go through Comey. If he decides that she has committed a legitimate crime, he can submit the evidence to the Justice Department.

Politically, he is an unremarkable establishment Republican. This would normally lead me to expect that he would not take action. I think most establishment Republicans would rather have Clinton than Trump or Cruz, meaning that I wouldn’t be surprised if he let her get away with committing a crime simply for his own political reasons.

But people who know Comey personally have said that he is an honorable man who takes his job seriously. They say that if the evidence is there, he will recommend charges out of principle, rather than political motivations.

If this is true, he’s sitting on a bombshell of a decision. If he passes this along to the Department of Justice and Obama, things could get interesting.

The first question: Will he suggest charges? If the evidence is there, I think yes. The FBI has assigned over 147 agents to her case. I think there is evidence. If he doesn’t, then there is no issue. The scandal will be forgotten, like most scandals.

Next question: What will he do if Obama and the Attorney General ignore his recommendation? As I said earlier, I would normally expect him to play along. But if it is true that he is an honorable and principled man, then I presume this: he will give the DOJ a chance to press charges based on his evidence. If it is clear that they refuse, he will call a press conference and make this public accusation: “The White House is hiding Hillary’s crimes, and I have the evidence to prove it.” At least, I would hope he does this.

But let’s suppose that Obama and friends choose to allow the case against her to proceed.  When could this happen? If Comey were to do this before the Democratic Party nominates anyone, then Hillary will be forced to step down (kicking and screaming, potentially). Bernie Sanders will be the nominee. It is too late for them to dig out anyone else.

If he waits until after Hillary is nominated, which I think she will be, then she will lose to (in all likelihood) Donald Trump. The jaded knuckleheads will see her through until the end, but I think everyone else will jump ship. Hillary is not the Teflon Don that her husband is.

I think she is most likely to be elected. So, what if he waits until after the election, but before she actually takes office in January? If so, prepare for the biggest political circus in American history. It would be an unprecedented situation.

Knowing Hillary, she would not go quietly. She would fight the charges tooth and nail. All of the hysterical accusations related to sexism and the vast right-wing conspiracy would roll out, which would be entertaining to watch.

Even if she defied the odds and beat the charges, her Presidency would be forever ruined. She would always be remembered as the conniving harridan who weaseled her way out of criminal charges.

Bottom line: James Comey is the hand that turns the wheel, in this sense. He is holding all of the cards. If he has a case to submit, then he holds tremendous leverage.

Obama is the wild card in all of this. In my opinion, Obama cares more about Obama than anything else. It would look pretty bad on his record to have one of his Secretaries of State be charged with espionage. So maybe he’d nix the charges. But then he might be publicly outed by James Comey for ignoring the charges. Then what? He’d have to fire him or give in. If he fires Comey, then his legacy is done for. So is Hillary’s. Nobody will ever forget what happened.

But Obama and the Clintons, contrary to what some people think, hate each other’s guts. So I think there is a decent chance that he would allow the charges to continue.

It all comes down to James Comey.

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