On the heels of the release of 129 pages of documents relating to Bill Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, the FBI has dropped another historical bombshell that drew an immediate hostile response from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
|Citizen Genet: Did Jefferson endanger the new republic with his support?|
In a news conference today, FBI director James Comey said that the future third president of the United States was “extremely careless” in his support for the French agent Edmond Genet, who was sent to the United States in 1793 to sign up privateers to prey upon British shipping.
Though known to be sympathetic to France’s revolutionary government and hostile to Britain, Jefferson in the newly uncovered documents is revealed as much more resistant to President George Washington’s insistence that Genet be recalled than was previously thought. The young nation was brought much closer to a resumption of hostilities with Britain by Jefferson’s support for Genet’s project. “Citizen Genet” was in fact recalled, but probably escaped the guillotine by marrying well and settling here.
When asked by a reporter how the FBI possessed evidence about another government scandal — one not known to scholars in such detail and that substantially predated the agency’s establishment — Comey merely stared down his questioner, smiling slightly.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook questioned Comey’s timing of the release so close to Tuesday’s election. “This is the third time recently the FBI has opened up questions that tend to reflect poorly on the Democratic Party and its current candidate for the presidency,” he said, alluding last Friday’s letter from Comey notifying Congress that his agency was looking into emails possibly linked to Hillary Clinton.
“Now we have an attack on the founder of our party, with no apparent purpose other than to weaken the public’s trust in Democrats,” Mook added.
|Schuyler Colfax:Defended by Pence|
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump immediately seized upon the latest release to attack his opponent anew. “Crooked Hillary continues a centuries-old tradition of the political class she represents putting the United States in danger through their disastrous policies,” Trump told a rally in Pennsylvania. “It’s disgusting, folks. And let me say to the dishonest media that’s always asking me what era I’m referring to when I say ‘Make America great again,’ I guess I mean 1789.” That’s the year Washington began his first term, upon the adoption of the Constitution, which Trump insists he has read.
Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, was more cautious in response and less elated by the FBI’s recent actions.The Indiana governor alluded to a fresh rumor that Comey may have yet another release in mind pertaining to the Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872. That involved payoffs to federal officials relating to advantages given to the Union Pacific Railroad.
“Vice President-elect Schuyler Colfax was implicated in that, and his reputation never recovered,” Pence pointed out. “He was a good Hoosier, and I have to question why the FBI wants to throw a shadow over the distinguished parade of vice-presidential candidates from Indiana.”