FBI Director James Comey was correct in his conclusion that no reasonable prosecutor would indict Hillary Clinton based on the evidence, attorney Alan Dershowitz writes in USA Today. But he raised troubling questions by going beyond that conclusion and expressing his opinion that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of sensitive material. It is not generally the job of an FBI director to describe and assess the evidence in a public statement.
Nor is it the job of an FBI director to make delicate judgment calls as to whether a prosecution should be brought. That discretionary decision is usually left to experienced prosecutors. As FBI director, he is simply supposed to investigate the facts and make a recommendation. We must never forget that the original head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, abused his authority repeatedly. We would not want another Hoover to be making these kinds of decisions. It is fair to ask the question whether Comey might have established a dangerous precedent by his decision to go beyond the usual role of an investigator and to exercise unchecked power.