Much still is not known about Comey's motivations, but we do know the following, based on multiple news reports about the case:
* The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a longstanding policy against discussing specifics of a pending investigation. Comey violated that policy.
* DOJ policy forbids taking actions that could influence an election. Comey violated that policy.
* The FBI's decision to expand its investigation of Anthony Weiner's e-mails to target Hillary Clinton's e-mails likely went beyond the boundaries of the bureau's warrant and could represent a violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable (and unlawful) searches. In other words, powerful evidence suggests Comey violated constitutional protections.
* The Hatch Act bars the use of an official position to influence an election. A former Bush-administration already has filed a Hatch Act complaint against the FBI with the Office of Special Counsel.
In many ways, Legal Schnauzer has presaged dubious acts such as the ones Comey took late last week. Here are a few examples of similar acts at lower levels of government:
* In the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case, the matter had been litigated for three years in South Carolina, where the family lived when Sherry Rollins initiated divorce proceedings. Ted Rollins failed to make court-ordered house payments, so Ms. Rollins and the couple's two daughters were forced to flee to Shelby County, Alabama, where family members lived. Ted Rollins then sued Sherry Rollins for divorce in Alabama, but a case styled Wesson v. Wesson, 628 So. 2d 953 (Ala. Civ. App., 1993) shows Rollins v. Rollins could not be heard here once jurisdiction had been established elsewhere. Shelby County Circuit Judge Al Crowson heard the case anyway and heaped a monstrous cheat job on Sherry Rollins.
* When I was placed on administrative leave at UAB, the matter was governed by the university's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). After all, the university alleged I had used my work computer to write this blog. The AUP clearly states that, if improper use of a computer is suspected, it should be handled via progressive discipline -- starting with oral warning, written warning, and termination (if the first two steps don't work). UAB never issued an oral or written warning regarding my use of the work computer. That's probably because they had asked an IT employee to monitor my computer usage for one month, and he later testified at my grievance hearing that I had not touched the first keystroke on my blog while at work. UAB fired me anyway, its own policies be damned.
* When we brought a criminal trespassing (third degree) complaint against our neighbor Mike McGarity (the one with the extensive criminal record), Shelby County District Judge Ron Jackson acquitted based on his notion that we were required to give written warning -- and there was reasonable doubt as to whether McGarity had received our written warning prior to trespassing. The actual law on such issues is cited in Chambers v. City of Opelika, 698 So. 2d 792 (Ala. Crim. App., 1996), and here it is:
The appellant has cited no authority for his position that to be guilty of criminal trespass the intruder must be aware that he or she had no license or privilege to enter or to remain on the premises. There is authority, however, that states that when those premises are private and not open to the public, there is no requirement that the prosecution prove that a prior written or verbal warning was given to the intruder.
Under the law, we did not have to warn McGarity at all -- in writing, or otherwise. But Judge Jackson refused to follow black-letter law, and the acquittal allowed McGarity to file a bogus malicious-prosecution lawsuit against us. We've spent 16 years fighting the fallout from that baseless lawsuit, which never would have happened without Jackson's unlawful ruling.
We've seen disregard for law and policies in Alabama for years. Now James Comey has shown that the FBI is infested with a similar mindset, and it could wind up putting the presidency in the hands of Donald Trump, who likely is the most unqualified individual ever to run for the office.