“Had myself or my colleagues engaged in behavior of the magnitude of Hillary Clinton, as described by Comey, we would be serving time in Leavenworth.”

No, that observation didn’t come from Donald Trump on the debate stage on Sunday, though it’s certainly consistent with Trump’s most targeted zinger of the night. It came from retired FBI agent Michael M. Biasello, who blasted the FBI director for having “singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the organization.” In a scathing piece in the New York Post, Paul Sperry quotes numerous longtime and retired agents --- remember, the 25 agents who worked on Hillary’s case remain silenced by a gag order --- who lament that Comey has permanently damaged the reputation of the FBI.

Retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit, said that in 25 years of conducting interviews he was never constrained by “ground rules.” And in this particular case, the limitations placed on investigators were unprecedented and downright bizarre. Biasello went so far as to say that the outcome of the case was “by design.” So if you (like me) are one of the millions of dismayed Americans who suspected that “the fix was in” from the get-go, you are not some paranoid, deplorable, wild-eyed conspiracy theorist. You are merely observant, and in extremely respectable company.

Retired FBI supervisor I. C. Smith’s remarks were of special interest to me because he used to run the Little Rock field office and investigated other Clinton scandals relating to fundraising and even Chinese espionage. (Take it from me: there’s no time in the political life of the Clintons when a growing list of scandals hasn’t accompanied them, like the chain of Marley’s ghost.) He said the agents who are upset with this investigation of Hillary “have every reason to feel that way. Clearly there was a different standard applied to Clinton.”

Yes, we know that the restrictions placed on the FBI came down from Loretta Lynch at the Justice Department. But agents cite Comey’s cooperation as “cowardly.” Surely he could have drawn a red line and, unlike Obama with his red lines, remained true to it, even if it meant his job.

It’s good to know that while pundits were clutching their pearls and reaching for their smelling salts when Donald Trump said Hillary should be in jail, veteran FBI agents were thinking, “You better believe she should.”

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