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I think that Comey has now been wrong twice. First, he didn’t have the authority in the summer to decide whether to bring charges based on the evidence that the FBI had gathered on Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. That is up to the Justice Department’s prosecutors. He was also wrong on the reading of the criminal statute on misusing classified material, which is why that decision is up to the prosecutors, not the investigators.
Second, Comey is wrong to disclose the restart of the investigation over the weekend into the evidence — he has apparently violated DOJ internal guidelines and historical practice. The only similar example that I can think of was Lawrence Walsh, as independent prosecutor, naming Caspar Weinberger as a criminal suspect right before the 1992 elections — an example which shows why current guidelines are right.
Comey had to disclose the re-opening of the investigation to correct his first mistake over the summer and to make up for his unprecedented chest-beating in public and Congress about it. In other words, he had to make this second mistake to make up for the first mistake.