Fox News' Judge Napolitano tore into FBI Director James Comey for injecting the FBI into the political process, informing Congress about Anthony Wiener's laptop, linking it to Hillary Clinton without any proof and violating his oath of office and due process.
Judge told Fox News' Shep Smith, "There was absolutely no duty, obligation, or right for him to announce that the Clinton investigation had been opened."
He explained, "Look, if they found a treasure trove information on Anthony Weiner's laptop, they are duty bound to investigate what they found. But, the law prohibits the FBI from taking a snapshot, a progress report of a criminal investigation, and broadcasting that. It is sort of like, "hey, we have some stuff on you. We don't know what it is. We haven't looked at it yet, we haven't decided the significance of it, we don't even know if it's about you or somebody that works for you, but we're just telling everybody that we have it." That violates due process, the essence of which is, notice what's going on, and fairness, and I'm very disappointed, as are a lot of people from all over the political spectrum."
There has been considerable outrage not just from Democrats or Clinton supporters, but from many Republican pundits as well.
"James Comey broke protocols that have been put in place so law enforcement can't influence elections. 'J. Edgar Comey' had no right to disrupt the election. And even if he had proof, the FBI has no obligation to be transparent. They investigate in private and then pass their findings to the Justice Department, period. "
Smith asked the judge what would have happened if Comey didn't make the announcement and partisans began to attack him for a cover up.
Napolitano said, "But the FBI doesn't work for the Congress and the FBI's not supposed to be transparent. It's also not supposed to make legal judgments about whether or not a prosecutor will take a case."
Hear that Bret Baier, Fox News, WSJ?
He continued, "It gathers facts in secret, it presents those facts in secret...The Justice Department decides..."
"For him to make public announcements on his own is where he injected the FBI in the political process, ten days before the election, which was the reason for the comparison to Hoover, who never had problems doing that."
When Comey held a press conference in July it also signified that the FBI was entering the political process because Comey was not supposed to give a summary of his findings, but pass them on to his bosses.
Napolitano said, "This statement shouldn't have been made with the implication that it's about [Hillary Clinton]. Because, when he sent the letter to Congress, in fact, he had not seen those emails. We know that because he sent the letter on Friday, and a search warrant authorizing review of the emails wasn't signed until Sunday night.
[...] We all have great sources. We are all hearing the same thing, and I'm convinced that Director Comey jumped the gun. Look, if I'm wrong, if there's some bombshell in there, again, his duty is not to go to the Congress and not to go to the press, but go to his bosses in the Justice Department."
Napolitano is validating Fareed Zakaria's claims, who likened Comey's actions to a banana republic.
Judge Napolitano backed up his criticism of Comey by publishing an article today called, "FBI Director James Comey has behaved like J. Edgar Hoover":
One of the most dangerous tendencies of big government is the generation of a police state -- wherein laws, rules and procedures are primarily written and can often be bent to aid law enforcement when it is encroaching on our personal freedoms. We saw a terrifying example of that last week when FBI Director James Comey behaved as if he were his most infamous predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover.
The genesis of all this was Comey’s unprecedented news conference on July 5, at which he announced that no charges would be filed against Clinton because no prosecutor would take the case. That was not an announcement for him to make.
The FBI’s job is to gather facts and present them to the DOJ, not to make legal evaluations.
The judge is no Clinton fan and did want to see a prosecution, but what he is not is a fanboy of the actions the FBI took during the entire investigation of Hillary's email server.
Comey has undermined our political process which may have massive ramifications come November 8.