According to former AG Alberto Gonzales, it’s FBI Director James Comey’s job to present evidence in the case against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server, not decide whether to prosecute the case.
“What I’m really surprised about was the statement that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Gonzales, who served under former President George W. Bush, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “That is not his job. His job is to do the investigation, present the evidence and maybe privately as a former prosecutor give his assessment as to whether or not to move forward.”
Tuesday, while making his announcement about the findings in Clinton’s case, Comey commented that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring criminal charges against the former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and Gonzales said he found that statement “interesting.”
“To say that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case, means that if anyone dare disagree, you’re unreasonable,” said Gonzales. “If [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch decides to move forward, she’s unreasonable. If she does, what does that do to Jim Comey’s credibility and judgment?”
Gonzales said he does respect Comey’s service and experience, but again, “his job is not to make an assessment as to whether or not there could be a prosecution. His job is to present the evidence.
Lynch, though, following a highly criticized meeting with former President Bill Clinton, has said that she would follow the recommendations of Comey and other prosecutors in determining whether to file criminal charges against Clinton.
Gonzales, also appearing on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” told Fox’s Bill Hemmer that if he were prosecuting the case, he’d want to go by the evidence and sit down with investigators before deciding to move forward on the case.
“The normal protocol is the evidence would be presented to the prosecutors at the Department of Justice,” said Gonzales. “Oftentimes you ask the F.B.I. agents involved if you have a recommendation on whether the prosecution should go forward, but it’s up to the prosecutors whether there should be an indictment. The federal standard is a probability a crime has occurred based upon the evidence given to you by the FBI.”
Lynch could still decide to move forward, Gonzales told Hemmer, but he believes Comey has locked her into a difficult position.
“If she moves forward with an indictment, that calls into question Jim Comey’s credibility and judgment,” said Gonzales.