'Hillary Skates' – Trump and Tabloids Make Sure Clinton Gets No Pass on Email Scandal as FBI Director Asked to Testify on Decision
Hillary Clinton may not be facing criminal charges in the FBI investigation into her handling of emails when she was secretary of state – but the fallout from the scandal is far from over.
As tabloids and critics like presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump condemned Clinton’s use of a private email server – and the “rigged” system that allowed her to get away with it – FBI Director James Comey has been called to testify before Congress on his recommendation not to prosecute Clinton.
Comey, a Republican who on Tuesday referred Clinton’s email case to the Justice Department with the recommendation that “no charges are appropriate,” agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday after lawmakers sought an explanation for his decision.
“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing,” Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable. Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation.”
Comey acknowledged Tuesday that the FBI found “evidence of potential violations” in Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of classified information, but said that “no reasonable prosector would bring such a case.”
Meanwhile, the New York Post and the New York Daily News mocked Clinton on their Wednesday covers, with the Post showing a photo of a smiling Clinton wearing a figure-skating skirt and pirouetting past a hole in the ice on a rink frozen over an FBI logo. “HILL SKATES: Clinton gets away with it – again,” the cover reads.
The Daily News cover featured a less colorful photo, of Clinton campaigning with President Obama in North Carolina on Tuesday. The headline reads: “I’m with Careless” – a play on Clinton’s campaign slogan “I’m with her.”
The Wall Street Journal, in a scathing editorial on Wednesday, criticized Comey for showing how Clinton “broke the law” and then “[rationalizing] no indictment.” The paper even suggested that his decision not to recommend charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee was in fact a covert effort to keep Trump out of the White House.
“The rule of law requires its natural application. We almost wish Mr. Comey had avoided his self-justifying, have-it-both-ways statement sand said bluntly he could’t indict Mrs. Clinton because the country must be spared a Donald Trump Presidency. It would have been more honest and less corrosive to democracy than his Clinton Standard.”
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Trump himself weighed in with a flurry of tweets Wednesday morning, declaring Clinton “not fit” for the presidency in the wake of the decision:
At a rally in North Carolina Tuesday night, Trump declared the FBI’s decision a “tragedy” and said of Clinton, “You didn’t have to be careless. You didn’t even have to really know that what you were doing was wrong, and you’re guilty. The laws are very explicit. Stupidity is not a reason that you’re going to be innocent.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s own dimmed star was hardly rising amid Clinton’s troubles. On Wednesday, yet another prominent Republican considered a potential running mate, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, took the once-unusual step of publicly saying, “no, thanks,” to being considered for the controversial Trump ticket.
“I’m a more policy-focused person,” Corker told CNN. “I just think people like me are better suited for other kinds of things.”
In other news on Trump’s highly anticipated selection of a running mate, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said that, while she met with Trump privately over the Independence Day holiday weekend, she has not been asked to submit any documents for formal vetting as a potential VP.