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"Unprecedented"… Except For That Time In 1992 When It Benefited The Clintons

- October 30, 2016

Today, The Clinton Campaign Tried To Claim That FBI Director James Comey's Actions Were "Unprecedented" This Close To An Election

Clinton Campaign Chair, John Podesta, Tried To Claim That Comey's Letter To Congress Was "Unprecedented" 11 Days Away From An Election. CNN'S JAKE TAPPER: "Highest standards of integrity. Wonderful, tough, career public servant. How do you use those words and then call his actions on Friday into question?" CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIR JOHN PODESTA: "Well, Jake, look, this was an unprecedented action. It broke with policy of Democratic and Republican justice departments, it was done over the advice of senior justice department officials, and I think that the Justice Department has had a long tradition of not interfering in an election coming 11 days before the election and as I said yesterday, it was long on innuendo, short on facts, so we're calling on Mr. Comey to come forward and explain what's at issue here." (CNN's "State Of The Union," 10/30/16)

Clinton Campaign Manager, Robby Mook, Claimed What The FBI Did In Sending A Letter To Congress Was "Unprecedented" And That There Were Policies Against Doing Something So Close To An Election. CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER ROBBY MOOK: "But again, let's just get all the information out there so that the rumors and the hypotheticals can be put to rest. And again, we're hearing a lot of criticism now from former Justice Department officials, from former Clinton, former bush administration, pointing out this is unprecedented." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 10/30/16)

Clinton's Running Mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) Claimed The Letter From The FBI Was "Unprecedented" And Violated Normal Protocol Because It Was So Close To An Election. SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): "Now this is an unprecedented move, as your folks were describing earlier, because it happens close to an election, which is in violation of normal Justice Department protocol, and involves talking about an ongoing investigation, which violates the protocol." (ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," 10/30/16)

Clinton Campaign Senior Strategist Joel Benenson Claimed The Letter From The FBI On Clinton's Email Scandal Was "Unprecedented" Within 60 Days Of An Election. CLINTON CAMPAIGN SENIOR STRATEGIST JOEL BENENSON: "The F.B.I director took an unprecedented action. That we've seen in the last 24 to 48 hours former law enforcement official, both Democratic and Republican, having served in the administrations of presidents from either party, have said that this is contrary to policy at the Department of Justice, the statement he put out on Friday, and it's unprecedented. You don't take actions within 60 days of an election. He did that." (CBS's "Face The Nation," 10/30/16)

BUT IN 1992, ON THE EVE OF THE ELECTION, BILL CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN TRIED TO USE THE INDICTMENT OF CASPAR WEINBERGER TO SMEAR PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH

On October 30, 1992, 4 Days Before The 1992 Election, Bill Clinton's Campaign Seized On The Indictment Of Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger To Discredit President George H.W. Bush, Claiming Documents In The Indictment "Directly Contradict[ed]" Bush's Past Statements.

Then-Governor Bill Clinton (D-AR) 4 Days Before Election Day 1992: "Today's disclosure that President Bush knew and approved of the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran not only directly contradicts the president's claims, it diminishes the credibility of the presidency. It raises the question first, and most importantly, about whether he's told the truth in this campaign and for the last five years. And secondly, it raises the whole question of his support for the policy. But the far more important thing is whether for five years he's been telling the American people something about his conduct of foreign policy as vice president which was simply not true." (CBS' "CBS Evening News," 10/30/92)

Then-Senator Al Gore (D-TN) 4 Days Before Election Day 1992: "We now have the evidence--the smoking-gun memorandum--the clear proof that what George Bush has said about his role in creating one of the worst, most embarrassing catastrophes in American foreign policy is simply untrue. How can he now ask the American people to trust him?" (CBS' "CBS Evening News," 10/30/92)

Click To Watch

Only One Month Later, The Indictment Was Thrown Out By A Federal Judge, Who Said The Charges "Improperly Broadened The Original Indictment." "Federal district judge today threw out a one-count indictment that was brought against former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger four days before the Presidential election and created an uproar when Republicans asserted that it had contributed to President Bush's defeat. In his ruling the judge, Thomas F. Hogan, said the new charge violated the five-year statute of limitations in the Iran-contra case and improperly broadened the original indictment that was filed in June against Mr. Weinberger. The one-count indictment was returned by a grand jury on Oct. 30." (David Johnston, "Charge In Weinberger Case That Caused Furor Before Election Is Thrown Out," The New York Times , 12/12/92)


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