Added: The U.S. intelligence community intervened in the presidential campaign in unprecedented ways:: "Senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community had concluded last year that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump was a suitable future president....Clinton was seen as dangerously hawkish and Trump as dangerously unqualified, opinions privately shared by then-President Barack Obama. So, according to this account, plans were made last summer to damage both Clinton and Trump, with the hope of putting a more stable and less risky person in the Oval Office--with key roles in this scheme played by Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper."... May 10, 2017, "Watergate Redux or ‘Deep State’ Coup?" Robert Parry, Consortium News
10/29/2016, "Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy," Washington Post, Sari Horwita, Tom Hamburger, and Ellen Nakashima
"Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James B. Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department, according to officials familiar with the discussions.
FBI officials who work closely with Comey on Thursday contacted attorneys at the Justice Department. Their message: Comey intended to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails potentially connected to the Clinton email investigation.
Justice officials reminded the FBI of the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.
“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”
Comey’s decision less than two weeks before the presidential election has stunned former and current law enforcement officials and rocked the Clinton campaign, which appeared to be coasting to victory. The bureau director said in a memo to FBI employees he felt obligated to update lawmakers after testifying under oath that the investigation into Clinton’s private email server was complete. And he feared that word of the newly discovered emails — found in the course of a separate investigation into former U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) — would leak to the media and suggest a coverup, according to officials familiar with his thinking.
FBI officials said Comey and those advising him were well aware of Justice Department policy, but considered it “guidance,” rather than an ironclad rule, on how to handle such sensitive information so close to an election.
During a “vigorous discussion” at the FBI among about 10 officials, lawyers and staffers, different options were discussed, said one official with knowledge of the discussion. In the end, Comey felt that the Justice Department guidance about elections did not pertain to this “extraordinary situation,” the official said.
But the day after Comey’s surprise announcement, anger at the FBI director from Democrats had only intensified....
Comey’s decision to ignore the advice of Justice leadership is “stunning,” said Matt Miller, who served as Justice Department spokesman under then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. “Jim Comey forgets that he works for the attorney general.”
“I think he has a lot of regard for his own integrity. And he lets that regard cross lines into self-righteousness,” Miller said. “He has come to believe that his own ethics are so superior to anyone else’s that his judgment can replace existing rules and regulations. That is a dangerous belief for an FBI director to have.”...
The FBI director is considered a quasi-independent law enforcement official, though the role still falls under the attorney general. The division of duty between the FBI and attorneys at the Justice Department is usually clear. FBI agents investigate cases and will offer recommendations on whether to bring charges. Justice officials ultimately make that call.
But in the case of the Clinton email server investigation, that norm was upended in June after Lynch and former president Bill Clinton met on Lynch’s plane in Phoenix, just as the inquiry was in its final stages....
That led to Comey’s unusual news conference in July, when he announced he had finished an investigation into whether Clinton had mishandled classified information during her tenure as secretary of state. He recommended she not be charged.
DOJ officials said that Lynch and Comey did not have a direct conversation about Comey’s decision to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails.
The emails, which number in the thousands, were found on a computer used by Weiner, now under investigation after allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a minor, and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who is Weiner’s wife....
“Comey’s July press conference was wrong, and now he has doubled down,” Gillers said. “The FBI’s job is to gather information for and make a recommendation to DOJ lawyers, not to hold press conferences and characterize the evidence. Tolerating that conduct from an FBI director sets a terrible precedent.”"