FBI Director James Comey is the pivotal figure in the 2016 presidential race that no one is talking about.
Comey, a Republican appointed by President Obama who enjoys a stellar reputation on both sides of the aisle, is investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State.
Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination next year and is expected to be a tough candidate for any Republican to face in 2016.
Yet the controversy surrounding her private email account remains an Achilles’ heel.
The GOP-created House Benghazi Committee flopped in October when Clinton testified for 11 hours. That hearing failed to produce anything newsworthy about her use of a private server and attracted criticism from liberals and conservatives alike.
Its failure makes it clear that the FBI will have the final say on whether Clinton did anything wrong or illegal. And whatever the verdict is, both parties will have to accept it because Comey is, in many ways, untouchable.
The 54-year-old FBI chief, confirmed by the Senate to a 10-year term in a 93-1 vote this summer, is known for his independence and aggressive prosecutions.
The grandson of a police officer in Yonkers, N.Y., he has repeatedly stressed his nonpartisan approach.