You may have seen that FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to members of Congress that the FBI found email that may be related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her stint as Secretary of State.
Scott Adams, the Dilbert creator who has been trumpeting Donald Trump’s “master persuader” techniques the last 18 months, now suggests that Director Comey did so on purpose:
Prediction: Comey broke precedent about announcing a criminal investigation near an election because he saw something disqualifying.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) October 30, 2016
What I’m taking from this comment is that Adams thinks the Director is attempting to sway the election, which means Adams thinks Director Comey willfully broke the law.
That’s mind boggling.
Adams, of course, will call this cognitive dissonance on my part, and that my interpretation and shock are the “tells” for it. This is all just ways of Adams dismissing arguments he doesn’t like.
(Adams himself suffers from massive cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, which he (by definition) doesn’t realize.)
First of all, Comey didn’t announce “a criminal investigation”, he indicated that a case that was already under investigation might (stress might) have new information to consider. And there was nothing in the letter about it being “criminal”, especially since Comey has already determined that “no reasonable prosecutor would” prosecute this case and “that no charges are appropriate in this case.”
But putting the specific wording aside, to suggest that an FBI Director would actively choose to sway an election and in doing so possibly break the law is irresponsible on Adams’ part.
I don’t normally choose to keep track of Adams’ predictions, because most of them are silly and inconsequential, like “Trump will win in a landslide”. Either he’s right, and he looks like a genius, or he’s wrong and he looks foolish (and spins it as “something changed like I said it might”). Either way, his “prediction” doesn’t have any impact in any meaningful way, nor does it say anything about anyone.
I’m recording this here because I’m certain he will delete or otherwise try to say he didn’t say this, and I want a record of it for the future. I want to be able to say to Adams “you’re an idiot with a grudge and a terrible predictive ability”.
Update: Scott Adams writes a blog post expanding his statement, but makes a couple of factual errors that he conveniently ignores. For example,
Comey learns that the Weiner laptop had emails that were so damning it would be a crime against the public to allow them to vote without first seeing a big red flag.
He alerted the public to the fact that the FBI found DISQUALIFYING information on the Weiner laptop.
The problem is, Director Comey did not yet know what was in the emails at the time he wrote to Congress. He said so in his letter to Congress:
The FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this new material may be significant
Only after two days did the FBI finally get a warrant to search the email.
So how could Comey alert
the public to the fact that the FBI found DISQUALIFYING information
if he didn’t know what what was in the email?
Adams is very good at crafting stories that make sense in his world, but which don’t stand up to basic analysis.