FBI Director James ComeyGetty

UPDATE: The Washington Post now reports agents investigating Anthony Weiner knew for weeks, possibly months that there were emails about the Clinton case on his computer. The question then arises why did they not tell Comey sooner and why tinformationion was not made public at a less sensitive time.

The name Comey in Gaelic means either “protector “(coimdeadh) or “crooked” (camtha) depending on which branch of the family you belong to. The two meanings sounds like an apt description of how different political parties in America view FBI Director James Comey right now.

These days James Comey is the most controversial FBI director since J Edgar Hoover, the allegedly closeted gay director who ruined so many lives and tried to finish off Martin Luther King among others.

Gay activists were Hoover’s special focus during his 48 years in charge despite the fact that most of his associates believed him gay himself.

In his biography Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover (1993), the journalist Anthony Summers quoted "society divorcee" Susan Rosenstiel as claiming to have seen Hoover engaging in cross-dressing in the 1950s, at homosexual parties.

But give Hoover his due, he never tried to win an election so blatantly for one side as James Comey did on Friday.

Comey is a registered Republican who gave contributions to Mitt Romney and John McCain among others and worked in the Attorney General’s office under George W. Bush.

His motives therefore have to be examined very closely. He refused to listen to his boss Attorney General Loretta Lynch and key figures in the Department of Justice and proceeded to issue a letter eleven days before the election that contained no direct evidence, merely innuendo about files found on a computer belonging to Hillary advisor Huma Abedin.

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, in 1959.

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, in 1959.

The disclosure of the letter, never shared with the Clinton campaign or the Justice Department before he sent it, threw the presidential race into chaos.

Even Republican law enforcement officials  disagreed with the move “There’s a longstanding policy of not doing anything that could influence an election,” George J. Terwilliger III, who was deputy attorney general in the George Bush administration told The New York Times on Saturday. “Those guidelines exist for a reason. Sometimes, that makes for hard decisions. But bypassing them has consequences.”

“There’s a difference between being independent and flying solo,” the former Bush administration official added.

An overjoyed media, tired of the prevailing narrative that Hillary was cruising to an easy victory devoured the new development like starving vultures.

Lost everywhere was the import of what Comey had just done, blatantly interfering in an election without any hard facts to back up that intervention.

The ultimate real loser in all of this will be the FBI whose reputation was so low after Hoover’s discredited tactics that it took decades to recover.

Now Comey has placed a massive question mark again over the agency and its independence and ability to be impartial.

The Justice Department has a de facto rule that no inquiries are made public in the 60 days before an election.

Comey ploughed a monster truck right through that with his letter on Friday that seems certain to influence the election.

While he may have been satisfying internal FBI critics and rabid Republican congressmen keen to paint Hillary Clinton as the devil incarnate he failed the American people.

There will be Democratic candidates who fall short next Tuesday who will legitimately ask if Comey’s intervention cost them a seat in the House or Senate --or White House.

Comey should have figured that out before his end run around his own DOJ and the American people.

There is nothing more sacrosanct than the ballot box. It is incredible the FBI director fails to see that.