LETTER: Why is columnist haunted by past politics?

To the editor:

I suspect it will require an exorcism to remove the likes of Hillary Clinton and James Comey from their hauntings of Robert Lee. Neither has held actual power since Comey’s removal as FBI director last May; and, since Hillary resigned as secretary of state exactly five years ago. One would think they each left their posts to pursue the bedevilment of Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee’s Jan. 27 column describes his discontent at James Comey’s 2016 decision not to indict Clinton over possible misuse of her email server. After a careful review of the official investigation, Comey acknowledged that while Clinton was “extremely careless,” “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Interestingly, in testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee last November, our staunchly conservative attorney general, Jeff Sessions, admitted finding insufficient evidence to re-visit a probe of Clinton’s email server. Sessions pointedly noted, “It would take a factual basis that meets the standards” for further investigation. Does Mr. Lee know something that has escaped the attorney general?

What is it about Hillary Clinton that drives many conservatives daffy? Benghazi investigations by congressional Republicans continually failed to unearth much of any use. Why else would they keep forming such committees? House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy finally revealed in September 2015 that the last one was primarily formed to drive down her poll numbers prior to the 2016 election. To turn our Tar Heel motto inside out, “To seem rather than to be,” could describe what Hillary represents to her adversaries.

Criticism of Comey falls flat as well. A Democratic president appointed Republican Comey as assistant U.S. attorney, then a GOP president made him a deputy attorney general. Another president tapped him as director of the FBI, and considered him for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As deputy AG in 2005, Comey agreed to limited use of “enhanced” interrogation of captured terrorists, while disagreeing with employing torture.

Sounds as if Comey strikes just the right chords for public service.

I was disappointed that Mr. Lee’s latest musings did not address at least one salient point. If “Queen Hillary was to be exonerated of any and all crimes” (by Comey), why did he publicly suggest — within 10 days of the election — that further investigation of her could be pending, likely costing Clinton the White House?

Douglas Smith