The Corner

Open Hatch Act

I thought it was idiotic for Democrats to claim that Comey violated the Hatch Act after he re-opened the investigation into Hillary’s emails after the discovery of Anthony Weiner’s laptop. First of all, contrary to a lot of screaming, the Hatch Act isn’t criminal law, so all the calls to go after him for violating it were a bit overblown. More importantly, the law requires that a public official have the deliberate intent to affect the election. Not only would that be unprovable, but the idea that Comey would risk damaging Hillary Clinton when she looked like a shoo-in was ridiculous. 

Still, if you think that Comey’s Sunday announcement was an attempt to “fix” the damage he did to Clinton’s benefit, don’t you have to believe that’s every bit as much as a violation of the Hatch Act as his prior announcement? Again: I don’t think the Hatch Act comes into this at all, but for the Dems celebrating Comey’s reversal just three days before the election, it’s funny how they stopped talking about the Hatch Act when he intervened to her benefit.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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