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2016 Men of the Year: James Comey and Anthony Weiner

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Images via AP
• December 31, 2016 5:00 am

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The origin of the phrase "justice delayed is justice denied" is not definitively known, but henceforth we might as well attribute it to FBI director James Comey. He was not about to let Hillary Clinton off the hook simply because she wanted to be president.

Comey infamously declined to recommend criminal charges against the decade's biggest political loser, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, over her flagrant violations of State Department rules (and, critics noted, federal laws) designed to protect sensitive national security information.

But with fewer than two weeks before Election Day, Comey took it upon himself to ensure that the people and their elected representatives were fully apprised of the Democratic presidential nominee's legal problems.

He sent a mildly worded letter to congressional investigators noting that the FBI had obtained new information in its investigation, which had never actually been closed, and would be pursuing it accordingly.

Clinton continues to blame Comey's letter—though not the ethically and legally suspect practices that prompted it—for her eventual loss to President-elect Donald Trump.

But it was not Comey who routinely disregarded even the counsel of top government information security officials. That would be Clinton herself. And in late October, Americans discovered that yet another of the Democratic Party's most notable failures, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, had a hand in it as well.

It was through the investigation of Weiner's legally dicey digital relationship with a minor that FBI investigators stumbled on yet more information pertinent to its Clinton investigation.

Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife and a top Clinton aide, had left some of her (possibly classified) work emails on her husband's laptop. Lord only knows why Weiner would give his wife access to that device.

With the aid of stalwart Free Beacon alumna Alana Goodman, who first reported that Weiner's sexting buddy was just 15 years old, the FBI had discovered new evidence, and Comey decided it was time to revisit the Clinton email matter.

Whether that is what did in the Clinton campaign—or whether it was her open disdain for tens of millions of Americas, her total lack of likeability and trustworthiness, or the monumental failures of her campaign apparatus—we may never know.

Two things we do know: Anthony Weiner is a pervert and James Comey is a hero. For their respective roles—intended or otherwise—in exposing the ugly underbelly of the Clinton machine, both have been named Washington Free Beacon Men of the Year.

Published under: Men of the Year