As a conservative, I know that I am supposed to believe that Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt human of all time and that she clearly committed crimes with regard to her private email server and classified information (after all, the conservative media has told me so and they are never wrong). However, I found FBI Director James Comey‘s dramatic statement and decision on this matter, explaining why no charges will be recommended, to be worthy of praise.
Comey explained his position very clearly and without any obvious bias. He seemed to be extremely well-informed of the issues of the case. He made numerous statements condemning Hillary Clinton that could not have made his boss happy and which made it apparent, contrary to prior statements from Donald Trump, that “the fix” was not in. His decision to not recommend an indictment seems based on facts, logic and precedent, just as any conservative should hope it would be, regardless of the subject.
While I would have personally enjoyed seeing Clinton face criminal charges, that is obviously not how these decisions should be made. The matter was obviously exhaustively investigated and the truth of her recklessness and incompetence are now forever part of the public record via an extraordinary on-camera statement from the director of the FBI. A hopeless prosecution of Hillary Clinton simply to avoid the appearance of “the fix” being in would have been every bit as wrong as “the fix” itself. Based on the current pool of information, I think Comey made the right call and should be praised for the way he has handled this extremely delicate matter.
However, I doubt that is how most conservatives (and the vast majority of Trump fans) will see this development.
Many Trump supporters with whom I interact have always expressed admiration for, and confidence in, director’s Comey’s character and competence. However, my guess is that he will suddenly now just be seen as an unwilling cog in the establishment machine which is working against their hero’s candidacy. This view is as silly and inconsistent as it is dangerous to our entire system of government.
Unfortunately, this is a perspective which will be widely held in conservative circles because there are facts which will easily allow the conservative media to spin conspiracy theories to their customers who are all-to-eager to believe them.
Even though there is not a shred of evidence that attorney general Loretta Lynch was part of Comey’s decision, her bizarre meeting with Bill Clinton, along with the Obama Administration’s obvious conflict of interest with regard to the Democratic presidential nominee’s potential indictment, will be more than enough for Comey’s decision to be totally discredited in their minds. To a significant number of Americans, it will always be a matter of biblical belief that the United States government let a criminal off the hook because she was about to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
As for the political fallout, this will hurt Clinton in the short run. Comey eviscerated her on national television in a very intense event which will have an impact on some voters. It would not surprise me at all if by next week Trump was effectively “tied” with her in some polls. However, I expect this impact to be small and temporary. The news media is likely to spin this largely in her favor and, in the long run, without an indictment, there will be nothing to fuel this story which will be largely forgotten (at least by independents) by the time voters finally go to the polls in November.
The late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis was famous for saying, “Just win baby!” No matter how conservatives want to rationalize it, that’s what Hillary, as incredibly ugly as it was, just did here.
John Ziegler is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.