Thus much of the news coverage at the start of the final, full week of campaigning centers on Comey-related questions: Why did he make public his decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation? When did the FBI know about Clinton-related emails on the Abedin-Weiner computer? Did Comey violate government policy — or even the law — by delivering a status update to Congress on Friday?
Here is a sampling of headlines from the past 24 hours:
- Did the FBI director break the law when he told Congress about Clinton-related emails? Maybe. (The Fix)
- FBI mad bomber James Comey needs to resign (New York Daily News)
- FBI's James Comey under fire after jolting presidential race (MSNBC)
- James Comey: Hillary Clinton email inquiry is FBI chief's latest controversy (Guardian)
- So much for the 'upstanding' James Comey: The FBI director's long career as preening partisan hack (Salon)
- What is the Hatch Act — and did James Comey break it? (CNN)
- Dozens of former federal prosecutors sign open letter criticizing James Comey (Huffington Post)
- Democrats fire at FBI director over email move (Wall Street Journal)
Before you dismiss such stories as the latest in liberal bias, consider the conservative media figures who also are criticizing Comey.
George Will called the latest development a “content-less October surprise” on “Fox News Sunday.” “The duty of the FBI is to investigate, and when it thinks it has concluded an investigation to pass its conclusion on to the prosecutorial arm of the Department of Justice, not to write letters to the legislative branch of government,” he added.
Fox News Channel commentator Jeanine Pirro, a former judge, said over the weekend that Comey's public move “disgraces and politicizes” the FBI. “The Justice Department and the FBI's policy to not comment publicly about politically sensitive investigations within 60 days of an election exists for a very important reason,” she said. “Announcements so close to elections have an impact. … The FBI director should not now be front and center.”
More headlines about an FBI investigation are probably the last thing Clinton wanted in the home stretch of the race. But the good news for her is that even some of her critics in the media think Comey is treating her unfairly — and that is exactly what her campaign has argued from the outset.
The more that the story revolves around Comey in the next eight days, the better it will be for Clinton.