Conclusion first, facts second. That, allegedly, was the mentality of ex-FBI Director James Comey in dealing with Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal. Yet this revelation was ignored by ABC, CBS and NBC on Thursday and Friday. Comey, who was fired by Donald Trump in May, decided against criminal charges of Hillary Clinton before 17 interviews of witnesses were even complete. Fox News, MSNBC and CNN all highlighted the story.
Yet, despite a combined nine and a half hours of air time on Thursday night and Friday morning, the networks couldn’t be bothered. To be clear, the reason for ignoring this damning development WASN’T Hurricane Harvey. That natural disaster (deservedly so) garnered a lot of coverage.
new coffee maker. CBS This Morning looked at the future of Uber for three minutes and 53 seconds. (CBS News covered the story, but online.)
ABC’s Good Morning America promoted “Force Friday” for two minutes and 17 seconds. Force Friday celebrates the release of new Star Wars toys. ABC is owned by Disney, the company that owns the sci-fi franchise. GMA made sure to tell viewers they could purchase toys on Walmart.com, a sponsor of the show. What was that journalists were saying about collusion and shady connections between powerful forces?
Clearly, there was time for Comey on the networks.
Fox News Special Report host Bret Baier found the news to be a “fascinating development” and informed viewers: “Senate Republicans say they have evidence that then-FBI director James Comey came to his conclusions on the Clinton case long before all the facts were in about Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.”
Fox News Segment Transcript:
BRET BAIER: A fascinating twist tonight on the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. Senate Republicans say they have evidence that then-FBI director James Comey came to his conclusions on the Clinton case long before all the facts were in about Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge is here tonight to explain. Good evening, Catherine.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Well, thank you, Bret. According to senior Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI records indicate that former Director James Comey drafted a conclusion apparently exonerating Hillary Clinton the e-mail case two months before the investigation was over and before the FBI interviewed Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, IT specialist Brian Pagliano and Clinton herself. The FBI transcripts from interviews with two senior Comey aides are now coming to light after a records request from the Republican leaders on the Senate committee. They said it appears that in April or early May 2016, Comey had decided against criminal charges before 17 interviews were complete. Writing to the FBI, the Senators added, “Conclusion first, fact gathering second. That’s no way to run investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard.” After he was fired by President Trump, Comey told Congress Loretta Lynch was the one who had politicized the e-mail case.
SENATOR RICHARD BURR: Was your decision influenced by the Attorney General’s tarmac meeting with the former President Bill Clinton?
JAMES COMEY: Yes, ultimately in a conclusive way.
BURR: Were there other things that contributed the you can describe in an open session?
COMEY: At one point, the Attorney General attorney general have your directive enough to call it an investigation but to instead call it a matter.
HERRIDGE: But the new time line shows that Comey was drafting his statement even before the tarmac meeting. This finding comes a day after the FBI said it denied request for Clinton e-mails citing a lack of interest. Bret?
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