Comey and the Rule of Law

Here's a new post from Board Member, James Bowden

The firing of FBI Director James Comey is a great illustration of what the Virginia First Foundation is about. It shows how the Rule of Law should work. And, why the Rule of Law matters.


The FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Public law, our U.S. Code, Justice Department Regulations and Presidential Executive Orders set in writing what the FBI is supposed to do. And, the limits of its authority and power. The FBI and its Director are subject to the Rule of Law.

The Rule of Law means obeying the law and working within the rules. All of them. When the law and rules are wrong, we should work to change them. But, we must follow the law or accept the consequences of civil disobedience under the law until bad laws are changed. Moreover, the laws and rules must apply to everyone equally. No matter what. Everyone must be equal before the law.

Now, go back to 2016. When the FBI discovers someone may have broken many Federal laws and regulations on protecting classified information, they have to go to their bosses in the Justice Department to get the full, legal authority to conduct an investigation which may result in arrest and trial for crimes committed. If the bosses, who are political appointees with executive authority to run the Federal government, refuse to allow the investigation – even though there is clear evidence of crime – the FBI Director has a choice. He can do as he is told to not investigate or he can quit in protest.

If the Director holds a press conference to announce there won’t be a proper investigation – and lists all the violations of the law - he broke the rules he works under. He violated the Rule of Law.

If the Director says the internal FBI investigation found criminal violations but makes up a standard of “intent” – which isn’t in the U.S. Code, he violated the Rule of Law.

If the Director holds another press conference right before the election to announce more findings from a fatally flawed, half-hearted investigation, he is usurping the role of his boss. He violated the Rule of Law.

When the law means one thing to the average government worker, but doesn’t apply to Hillary Clinton, there is no Rule of Law. The President, if he knows, and the Justice Department officials violate their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution when they don’t do their duty. The FBI Director who doesn’t quit in protest isn’t doing his duty.

The Virginia First Foundation is about creating a culture in Virginia where we support the Rule of Law overwhelmingly, passionately and with resolute conviction.

The FBI Director should have resigned in protest. When he didn’t, he should have been fired for breaking the rules in July 2016.
In Virginia our current Attorney General took an oath to uphold the Constitution of Virginia. Under the Rule of Law, it’s his job to defend our Constitution in court. When our Marriage Amendment was challenged, the Attorney General didn’t defend our Constitution as he swore on a Bible to do – because he didn’t like the Amendment. He violated the Rule of Law. The Virginia General Assembly – both parties included – should have impeached him.


VFF works for a Virginia where the Attorney General shouldn't violate the Rule of Law, and the General Assembly should hold all officials accountable to the Rule of Law


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Tuesday, November 3, 2015