In a terse Op-Ed published in today’s New York Times, Richard Painter, the chief White House Ethics Lawyer in the Bush Administration from 2005-2007, explains why he filed a Complaint yesterday against FBI Director James Comey with the FBI’s Office Of Special Counsel, which investigates possible ethical violations within the Bureau. In particular, Painter explains why Comey’s inexplicable actions this week may warrant prosecution for abuse of power under the Hatch Act:
“I have spent much of my career working on government ethics and lawyers’ ethics, including two and a half years as the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, and I never thought that the F.B.I. could be dragged into a political circus surrounding one of its investigations. Until this week.”
Painter, a former George W. Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich supporter, explains that had the Bureau made a similar public disclosure in its connection with the ongoing investigation ties between a certain presidential candidate and hacking of Americans’ emails by the Russian government, it would have equally constituted a breach of longstanding policy and an abuse of power. Specifically, the Hatch Act bars the use by a government official of his position to influence an election.
Etc. And again, Comey needs to be fired.