Comey has been criticized both by Republicans and Democrats for his actions at various points throughout the 2016 campaign. No matter what the inspector general report shows — after what will undoubtedly be a very lengthy investigation — there will always be a lingering suspicion that something went wrong with the FBI’s involvement. There will always be a sense that something wasn’t quite right at the top.
I wrote back at the end of October that Comey was in a difficult situation, boxed in by Clinton partisans and heading an agency that allegedly was expressing distrust of the Obama Justice Department. By all accounts, Comey is a decent man and a straight shooter, and it’s unfortunate that the Clinton scandals landed him in such an untenable position. But too much toothpaste has left the tube. The FBI won’t be thought of as being at its best, and the agency’s investigations and actions won’t be met with complete trust, unless there is a change at the very top.
President-elect Donald Trump, Congress and the FBI itself all deserve a fresh start.