The Big Three networks seemed full of glee Thursday evening as they reported that FBI Director James Comey was being investigated by the Justice Department’s inspector general. “Hoping for a measure of vindication,” announced anchor Lester Holt to kick off NBC Nightly News, “The Hillary Clinton campaign is welcoming the surprise news out of Washington today,that the Justice Department's Inspector General will take a deep look into how the FBI handled the investigation…”
They were all eager to slam Comey for making things difficult for Hillary Clinton. “You’ll remember Director James Comey going public reigniting the e-mail investigation involving Hillary Clinton only to then reveal there was nothing,” declared an angry sounding David Muir on ABC’s World News Tonight, “Critics say there is no question it affected the election…” ABC’s coverage was the most viscous, with their senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas reporting:
Tonight, the FBI director James Comey under intense new scrutiny. A new Inspector General investigation asking the critical question, “Did Comey's actions in the Clinton e-mail probe violate Justice Department policies and protocol?” Something critics have maintained severely hurt Clinton's chance at the presidency.
Thomas whined that Comey “spent 15 minutes laying out the case harshly criticizing her” before saying he wouldn’t bring charges against her. He noted that Clinton’s team believes Comey’s statements were “devastating” before playing audio of Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon proclaiming, “If this election had been held ten days earlier, prior to the sending of Jim Comey’s letter, Hillary Clinton would be the 45th president of the United States.”
Following Comey’s testimony in a Congressional hearing, Thomas seemed to accuse the FBI director of misdeeds by asking, “Director Comey are you comfortable in the role that you played in the election, sir?”
On NBC, justice correspondent Pete Williams parroted Clinton lines that, “the review should’ve been launched much earlier, right after the unusual news conference in July.” “If he opened an investigation then, it might have prevented Comey from sending that letter in October, which I think ultimately might have been decisive in the presidential election,” a Clinton support told Williams.
What they failed to mention was that the investigation would also be looking into whether there as any breach in protocol in Clinton’s favor. “The OIG investigation is also exploring whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should’ve recused himself from the Clinton e-mail case after his wife received about a million dollars for a state senate race from Democrats including longtime Clinton confidant Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe,” reported Fox News’ Catherine Herridge on Special Report.
She also noted that the investigation would include “Justice Department Official Peter Kadzik, a longtime friend of Clinton's campaign manager” because of allegations he passed along information regarding e-mail dumps and congressional hearings to Clinton.
CBS Evening News was the only network to mention these other facets of the investigation, but they were quick to hammer Comey for not being willing to talk about investigations involving Trump during a Congressional hearing this week.