Matt Schlapp: Comey's redemption may cost crooked Hillary the White House
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James Comey just became the most important participant in the 2016 election.

American voters may never witness again an October like they have just experienced. Illegally hacked emails from Secretary Clinton’s campaign chairman which spew out regularly have finally changed the topic from the moral standing of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE to the flashback nightmare of what it is like when the Clintons roll into town. 

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The leaked emails informed voters that Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats ask judge for quick ruling on McGahn subpoena Hillary Clinton: 'Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency' The Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race MORE were so intent on building wealth from their connections and her convenient public offices, that a scheme called Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFeehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage The 2 events that reshaped the Democratic primary race MORE, Inc. was established to pad their purse to the tune of $60 million. And it grew from there. 

Americans realize that former presidents are rewarded for their service with great wealth during their winter years, but they also expect these former commanders-in-chief to not be too gaudy about it all. 

We also learned that Secretary Clinton admitted to having “public” and “private” policy positions but only admitted such when she believed she was having a confidential meeting, and we learned that her senior staffers worry about her judgment and her associations with rich yet disreputable donors and governments.

Trump supporters have been frustrated by the unfair nature of the press coverage of the race. However for those of us who have been on past presidential campaigns, the coverage is part of the mountain a GOP nominee must climb.

It does not matter if a candidate has demonstrated respect for women, as stories were written about Mitt Romney’s “war” on women. It does not matter how much you have worked for racial harmony, as toward the end of 2000 George W. Bush was accused of allowing attacks on blacks due to his position on hate crimes. 

Yet when we recently learned that senior staffers for Hillary Clinton called Roman Catholics who are faithful to their church “severely backwards” and made fun of baptizing children and worked with groups who are attempting to “infiltrate” the Catholic Church and topple its leadership and its teachings there was little corresponding outrage from most in the press.

Certainly, there was no outcry about a Clinton “war” on people of faith. Substitute Dick Cheney or a Dick Cheney Foundation into all of these revelations and we all know what the coverage would be like. 

I do not know Jim Comey well, but he was selected to serve in the Bush Administration due to his reputation as a prosecutor and not for his political pedigree. As White House political director, I played a role in the due diligence for political appointees. Those of us involved in that process found scant evidence that Comey was ever very Republican or partisan.

In fact, if Jim Comey had any political point of view, it was about advancing his career as a prosecutor, regardless of political parties. The takeaway from my due diligence on Comey indicated that he was confident and ambitious. He probably made both Democrats and Republicans believe he was loyal to each, and that he had great talent.

Now that talent and independent streak is making itself known. I continue to hold the opinion that up until last week Director Comey had been reluctantly following the smoke signals from team Obama which very much wanted Hillary Clinton to avoid prosecution.

His testimony to Congress gave me every indication that Comey may not be willing to take the heat on bringing a case against Hillary Clinton to court but he could make the factual case against her on national television, which I believe he did effectively. Comey had done what he could in the political box in which he chose to exist.

However when he either learned of, or realized the whole world now knew of, the sleazy decision by career Clinton ally Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to put $467,500, plus an additional $207,788 from the Democrat Party, into the political campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, I think Comey realized that his personal reputation and very the independence of the FBI were now in jeopardy. 

Dr. McCabe, you see, just so happens to be the wife of the then-associate-deputy director for the FBI, Andrew McCabe, a position that oversaw aspects of the Clinton investigation. (He’s since been promoted to deputy director.)

Director Comey must have realized that his previous decision to take a walk for the sake of a President Hillary had to be revisited, even if it meant that he would not be invited to the Obama Christmas parties or swanky Clinton Foundation events. 

The FBI, Director Comey and Anthony Weiner have now changed the trajectory of this race. For the remaining days of the 2016 presidential contest voters will be forced to consider whether it is prudent to re-elect a political dynasty known for its resilience and talent but mostly for scandal, profiteering and impeachment.

This race now hinges on the public judgement of Clinton’s character, not on Trump’s. Clinton partisans will find this coverage unfair. #NeverTrump’ers will find it tougher to assuage their consciences about helping “crooked” Hillary, and worried Republicans, conservatives and independents will feel more confident about a vote for Trump.

And well after the dust settles and the votes are counted we shall see if Jim Comey and the FBI have been redeemed. 

Schlapp is chairman of the American Conservative Union and CPAC. He was the White House political director to President George W. Bush.
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