Libertarian vice presidential nominee and former Justice Department official Bill Weld thinks FBI Director James Comey made a “disgraceful” decision when he announced he intended to look at a Hillary Clinton aide’s emails in a letter to Republican congressional committee chairs.
Comey’s letter, we know now, was sent before the FBI even read Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s emails, which were reportedly found as part of an unrelated investigation on a computer she shared with estranged husband Anthony Weiner. During a Monday morning appearance on CNN, Weld argued that Comey’s letter was premature, unnecessary, and created a political firestorm that’s benefiting Donald Trump as the presidential campaign enters its final week.
Weld, who was head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department under President Reagan and later served as a Republican governor of Massachusetts, said, “If you don’t know [what’s in the emails], keep your mouth shut. Don’t speculate.”
“Now [Comey] announces, or someone announced, ‘We got permission to look at the emails.’ They’re not even announcing, ‘We’ve looked at the emails,’” he added. “What’s it going to be tomorrow? ‘We looked at an email. There was nothing there, but tomorrow we’re going to look at another email.”
Weld said he was speaking in his role as a former top DOJ official and not as a candidate, but expressed concern about how Comey’s letter helps Trump, who he denounced as unfit for office in a statement released last week.
“Mr. Trump braying about this latest development reminds me of the guy in Monty Python who says, ‘She’s a witch! Burn her, burn her!’ It has no more content than that,” Weld said. “And the point of that skit in Monty Python was that those townspeople were ignorant and stupid, not that they were great.”
Weld’s response to Comey’s letter stands in contrast to that of his running mate, Gary Johnson, who parroted Trump’s talking points while inflating the significance of Comey’s letter during an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer on Saturday.
“Does anyone doubt that her entire four years in office is going to be impeachment? It’s going to be impeachment. It’s going to be one special prosecutor after another, and it’s going to be horrible,” Johnson said. “This is really reminiscent of Watergate, only this has got bigger rumblings than Watergate.”