Top aides to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton angrily condemned FBI Director James Comey on Sunday for revealing the bureau’s probe of newly found emails related to her use of a private server, and demanded he quickly release details about the discovery.
Sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday that Comey likely has limited information about what is in the emails because the FBI lacks legal authority to examine their content thoroughly.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook blasted Comey for sending a letter notifying Congress of the email review before he even knew whether they were significant or relevant.
Comey’s letter was “long on innuendo, short on facts,” Podesta said CNN’s “State of the Union” program, and accused the FBI chief of breaking precedent by disclosing aspects of an investigation so close to the Nov. 8 election.
“We are calling on Mr. Comey to come forward and explain what’s at issue here,” Podesta said, adding the significance of the emails was unclear.
“Comey really needs to come forward and explain why he took this unprecedented step, particularly when he said himself in the letter to the (Capitol) Hill that these may not even be significant,” Podesta said. “He might have taken the first step of actually having looked at them before he did this in the middle of a presidential campaign, so close to the voting.”
Comey’s letter, sent over the objections of Justice Department officials, plunged the final days of the White House race between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump into turmoil with Trump focusing on the issue as proof for his argument that Clinton is corrupt and untrustworthy.
Comey, who announced in July that the FBI’s long investigation of Clinton’s emails during her time as secretary of state was ending without any charges, said in his letter the agency would review the newly surfaced emails to determine their relevance to the investigation of her handling of classified information.