On Sunday, the Senate minority leader wrote in a letter to FBI Director James Comey that Comey “may have broken the law” by disclosing that his bureau is looking into new emails related to its Hillary Clinton investigation. The idea is that Comey possibly violated the Hatch Act—a law forbidding government employees from supporting political candidates—with, in Reid’s words, “what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another.” As The Washington Post observed, Reid also charged the FBI director with withholding “explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government—a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States.”
Reid offers no evidence for any of this, just as he offered no evidence in 2012 when he lied that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for a decade. (Astoundingly, he’s still defending that lie, telling the Post last month that “it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”)
This isn’t laudable toughness or rough-and tumble politics. It’s a set of serious charges for which Reid offers no meaningful justification. Republican Senator Tom Cotton, no stranger to reckless rhetoric, got it at least partly right when he tweeted:
The minority leader isn’t among the chamber’s worst men ever, but his actions certainly are a disgrace.