The Media Reserarch Center is seeking to justify the FBI's reopening the Hillary Clinton email case by taking a weird Clinton Eqivocation route: citing an earlier pre-election law enforcement action that may have helped Bill Clinton win the presidency.
NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer lays out the case in an Oct. 29 rant:
FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress indicating that the bureau has "learned of the existence of (Hillary Clinton) emails" which he concluded must be reviewed "to determine whether they contain classified information" has led to all kinds of people declaring the move an "unprecedented" October surprise.
Even some people who should know better have called it the "Mother of All October Surprises." Perhaps it ultimately will be, but as things currently stand, it's not really in the running for current champion.
The press's institutional memory is so weak, and its insistence on burying long-ago inconvenient truths is so strong, that no one I'm aware of has made a comparison to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh's indictment of former Reagan Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on October 30, 1992, and Walsh's obviously calculated decision to include a reference to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in his filing. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who one would expect to remember its brutality and dishonesty, failed to do so in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.
Additionally, though it's early, it also appears that a conscientious federal law enforcement officer reporting to Congress like Comey, having come across what he must believe is likely compelling new evidence, has little choice but to report what he knows as soon as he knows it, regardless of the election calendar.
By contrast, Lawrence Walsh, in his sixth year as Iran-Contra prosecutor, was under no compulsion to indict Cap Weinberger on October 30, 1992.
As it turned out, Walsh also had no basis to issue the indictment. What he appeared to have is an obsession with demonstrating that Bush 41 knew about Iran-Contra when he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan:
The October 30, 1992 indictment of Weinberger was thrown out just 43 days later. The reasons why prove that the indictment was a bogus preelection hit:
A lawyer as experienced as Walsh should have known, and I believe did know, that filing a charge past an established statute of limitations deadline rarely if every succeeds. The judge's reported reference to how the October 30 indictment "improperly broadened the original indictment" is likely more evidence that Walsh filed a Hail Mary indictment to smear the presidential incumbent.
Blumer is simply engaging in malicious speculation about Walsh's purported motives; he can't possibly know that Walsh planned a "bogus preelection hit." And Blumer curiously omits the fact that Bush, on his way out of office, pardoned Weinberger and five other Iran-contra defendants. If Weinberger did nothing wrong, as Blumer wants you to believe, he wouldn'd need a pardon, right?
Blumer also doesn't mention that Walsh was a lifelong Republican, which further dampens the idea of a partisan "dirty trick" motive.
It seems that Blumer is willing to accept Comey's abrupt reopening of the email investigation as a sort of revenge for 1992.