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October 2016


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Michael Mason on Clinton Probe: ‘All I Know is That I trust FBI Director Jim Comey’

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason

We live in a country with an imperfect judicial system.  Every day of the week people are not charged for crimes others believe them to be guilty of committing.

There are many reasons why this occurs.

In the case involving Hillary Clinton and her handling of classified e-mails, most clamoring for her prosecution probably lack any detailed knowledge of the facts and are more driven by their strong dislike of Mrs. Clinton.  I don’t claim to possess any knowledge of the facts in the Clinton investigation either, so it is difficult for me to offer an opinion regarding the merits of pursuing a prosecution in this case.

Were her actions careless or traitorous?  I suspect they were the former, and doubt any one would seriously argue they were the latter.

Did she act with malice aforethought or for ill-considered convenience?  What was the nature of the classified materials improperly handled?  Granted classified is classified regardless of the over-zealous use the high-end classification of documents that could be posted on bill boards with no harm to national security.  The notion that all classified materials fit into the same bucket is patently absurd and those in the business know this to be true.

So where does this leave me?

All I know is that I trust FBI Director Jim Comey.  I believe in his integrity and his honesty.  Ultimately the FBI does not make the decision regarding whether a case will be pursued for prosecution, not even the Director of the FBI.

That authority resides solely with the United States Justice Department.  So in the very loud and boisterous complaining that so often surrounds a matter that is steeped in political intrigue, what seems to have been lost is that the Justice Department could have overruled Director Comey and pursued the prosecution of Hillary Clinton, but they did not.

Some of the brightest legal minds in the country serve in the Department of Justice.  The Justice Department cannot abdicate the responsibility that resides solely in their wheelhouse based on the recommendation of the FBI Director.   I have read plenty regarding Director Comey’s recommendation to the Justice Department, but little of their decision not to pursue a prosecution.

This is not an attempt of a former FBI executive to protect its current Director as I do not believe he needs anyone to protect him.  Nor is this an opinion piece regarding whether a prosecution should have been pursued.  It is only my wish that we could distill the anger and hatred that so often drives our opinions regarding critically important issues of the day.


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