Not me just say that although I understand the inevitability of it, I loathe this Times framing:
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said in a post on Twitter that the campaign had always believed she would be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited,” Mr. Fallon said. “Now Director Comey has confirmed it.”
"Not enough evidence to charge" does not, in my mind, equal "cleared of any wrongdoing". And by the time he had finished his public press conference and follow-up Congressional hearing, Comey had made clear that Hillary had been reckless with national security secrets and dishonest with the public. Which is not news to the Times:
Hillary Clinton may not be indicted on criminal charges over her handling of classified email, but the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, all but indicted her judgment and competence on Tuesday — two vital pillars of her presidential candidacy — and in the kind of terms that would be politically devastating in a normal election year.
Or, after his Congressional appearance:
At a contentious hearing of the House oversight committee, Mr. Comey acknowledged under questioning that a number of key assertions that Mrs. Clinton made for months in defending her email system were contradicted by the F.B.I.’s investigation.
Mr. Comey said that Mrs. Clinton had failed to return “thousands” of work-related emails to the State Department, despite her public insistence to the contrary, and that her lawyers may have destroyed classified material that the F.B.I. was unable to recover. He also described her handling of classified material as secretary of state as “negligent” — a legal term he avoided using when he announced on Tuesday that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against her.
But "cleared of any wrongdoing" it is.
The Times is eager for some real reporting on a topic we all find interesting - what drove the timing of Comey's initial and final announcement?
Mr. Comey’s move is also sure to prompt questions from Democrats. Most important among them: Why did Mr. Comey raise the specter of wrongdoing before agents had even read the emails, especially since it took only days to determine that they were not significant?
The F.B.I. director’s vague, brief announcement on Oct. 28 left Mrs. Clinton with few details to rebut and little time to do it. Many current and former F.B.I. agents and Justice Department officials said Mr. Comey had needlessly plunged the F.B.I. into the politics of a presidential election, with no clear way out.
And yet, almost as if in answer to their own question, the Times continues:
Because of Mr. Comey’s Oct. 28 letter, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made completing a review of the emails a top priority. Late last month, Mr. Comey ordered agents to work around the clock to sift through the messages.
Hmm, a top priority with plenty of resources? Yet, if we believe this WSJ and CNN reporting, the Justice Department had gone sideways for since early October on the subtleties of obtaining a proper warrant and staffing a timely investigative effort. Hence the John Podhoretz view (which I share) - Comey may have been sending up a flare to illuminate the inactivity of DoJ slow-walkers who were hoping to unravel this latest steaming pile of Hillarity! sometime in mid-November, or December, or never. In this view, Comey wasn't interfering with an election, he was interfering with a partisan Administration cover-up, which the media could see if not for their partisan blinders.
So why are Democrats asking follow-up questions? Are they really so confident that the deliberately slow investigative pace won't be seen as politically motivated?
Who knows? I have long since quit trying to out-think these bright lights. But To Be Fair, there is an alternative hypothesis. Suppose some FBI faction thought Clinton was getting off easy on the email thing and discovered the Abedin emails in early October. A "Get Clinton" cabal might have (Are you ready for some football?!?) decided to run the clock down as far as possible then kick a late field goal for the win.
So they stall the Abedin follow-up to a point where Comey might still be willing to go public (the last week before the election might not have been saleable), spring the surprise on Comey, who springs the surprise on Congress, and set off last week's pandemonium. And only the heroic intervention of right-minded DoJ officials managed to get Comey the warrants and people he needed to resolve this blatant dirty trick in a timely fashion, thereby Saving The Republic.
Well. Needless to say, I don't buy it, but that doesn't mean there aren't Democrats who might believe this or something like it. As to the truth, well, if if makes Obama and Hillary look good the MSM will have this story soon enough from their helpful Obama appointees. OTOH, if the truth reeks of cover-up one might think the FBI has people willing to spill to Fox News or the WSJ.
And a Bonus Thought: Mark Felt, of "Deep Throat" and Watergate fame, was apparently leaking to the Washington Post as an infighting tactic designed to get him the top job at the FBI. Even with Hillary's likely ascension there will be political shifts and rifts with the impending transition, so maybe Hillary loyalists will stick the knife to prospective Team Obama holdovers to make sure the Obamaites move out instead of up.
The truth may out. Maybe for the last time in the next four years.