In Leaked Memo, James Comey Explains Why FBI Told Congress About Reopened Clinton Probe
Having been the whipping boy of Republicans everywhere since July, following his announcement the FBI would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, then shockingly making the “most hated list” of every Democrat with the even more stunning news the FBI had reopened its probe of Hillary Clinton, bureau director James Comey just can’t seem to win.
So in an attempt to justify his actions, a “leaked” memo emerged on Friday evening courtesy of Fox News, which explains why Comey took the unusual step of deciding to inform Congress that the FBI had reopened its investigation into Clinton’s private email server. The memo reveals two main arguments: a sense of obligation to lawmakers and a concern that word of the new email discovery would leak to the media and raise questions of a coverup.
These two arguments prompted the FBI director to release his brief letter to Congress on Friday and has sent the presidential race into a tailspin less than two weeks before Election Day. It placed Comey again at the center of a highly partisan argument over whether the nation’s top law enforcement agency was unfairly influencing the campaign.
In a memo explaining his decision to FBI employees soon after he sent his letter to Congress, Comey said he felt “an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed.” He admitted that he broke with custom in alerting lawmakers that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was being reopened because of its political sensitivity.
He further explained to FBI employees that “Of course we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.”