WASHINGTON, D.C. — Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan said a decision by the head of the FBI to not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for how she handled classified information shows a “systematic breakdown of our rule of law and our justice system.”
FBI Director James Comey said last Tuesday that he was going to recommend that Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, not be charged because for her to be charged criminally, there had to be evidence that she intentionally transmitted or willfully mishandled classified information.
Duncan said his angst goes beyond Clinton’s political aspirations to the possible effects the decision could have for the criminal justice system and preferential treatment under the law.
“The scales of justice wear a blindfold for a reason and that reason is because the facts are to be weighed without prejudice based on gender, race, nation of origin, wealth, or political influence, ambition, or political status,” Duncan said. “That is the foundation of our justice system that has set it apart from those around the world, that impartiality — until yesterday.”
Duncan said he was surprised at Comey’s conclusion.
“I’m listening to his (Comey’s) press conference and hear the list of violations and acknowledgements by the bureau and based on the presentation and the facts as he presented them, it was shocking to hear no charges would be recommended,” Duncan said. “The faith of the American people in our government and its institutions is at an all-time low, with a lot of our citizens feeling the government is corrupt.
“These same people held the FBI to a higher standard as the leading law enforcement agency in the country. But when the FBI lays out the egregious violations committed and does not follow through, the confidence the people has is diminished and tarnished,” he added. “When there is a presentation and recognition of violations those should be decided by a jury of peers, but in essence the American people were told that isn’t going to happen.”
Sen. Tim Scott also released a statement concerning the FBI’s decision.
“The FBI’s findings made it painfully obvious that Secretary Clinton put our national security and classified information at risk, and even that her email was probably hacked by foreign operatives,” Scott said. “We have seen other examples of people who have, maliciously or not, put classified information at risk, and they did not receive the same treatment.
“This shows if your last name is Clinton, you are clearly playing by a different set of rules,” he added. “This is not what America stands for, period. I look forward to FBI Director Comey testifying before the U.S. House, and learning more about how they came to this decision. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that your last name doesn’t determine how you’re treated in the eyes of the law.”
Duncan’s stance was similar in tone.
“This goes far beyond one person,” he said. “This is a systematic breakdown of our rule of law and our justice system.”
He related through social media the standing of the American justice system globally and the possible long reaching effects of the events:
“I’ve had the opportunity to do some traveling, and one of the biggest differences between a country like the United States and a third world nation is our impartial justice system. In this country, the law is supposed to be the great equalizer. It’s not supposed to matter who you’re married to, who your parents are, how powerful you may be. We are all supposed to be equal under the law. But when I see the FBI Director performing verbal yoga in an attempt to explain the difference between “Extremely Careless” and “Gross Negligence,” I weep for my country.”
He further stated:
“I’m a United States Congressman. And I am telling you that at this moment, I do not believe that we are all treated equally under the law. I think our system is broken, and if you’re politically well connected, the law doesn’t apply to you the same way it does for everyone else. I think that’s abhorrent, and has to change.”
Duncan reiterated that his part of his job is to fight this type of corruption.
“I’m struggling with the avenues available to us in Congress,” Duncan said. “I’m struggling with what powers we have in Congress in a situation like this, a red letter day in America where the judicial branch fell far short in its duties. The ultimate and final judgment will come Nov. 8 on election day, but to be honest I’m less focused on the election and Hillary Clinton and more on Director Comey’s lack of impartiality going forward. We fought to do away with the aristocracy in 1776 and now we have this when it should be of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Duncan issued the following through social media following Comey’s announcement:
“Earlier this year I came out in support of a Convention of the States, a process outlined in our Constitution that allows the states to take the lead on proposing government reforms. I didn’t make this decision lightly, and I know there is some genuine disagreement among people as to whether this is the best course of action. But when I see this level of corruption in Washington, and when I see that holding on to the status quo only benefits the establishment and those in power, it causes me to believe that extraordinary measures are needed to restore our country.”
Duncan also referenced the work of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, an analogy for government, its establishment, and corruption, which reads: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Reach D. C. Moody at 864-855-0355.