We are seven days away from the election. Just seven. So the FBI has to hit the gas on this investigation and reveal something. Now.
After facing a storm of bipartisan criticism for his cryptic message about “emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Hillary Clinton, the FBI is attempting to accelerate its examination of hundreds of thousands of emails that may or may not implicate Mrs. Clinton for the improper handling of classified material. Comey’s letter to Congress to “supplement” his previous testimony has upended the presidential election, bringing complaints from both sides of the aisle and rejoicing from Trump supporters.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), wrote to Comey, “While I disagree with those who suggest you should have kept the FBI’s discovery secret until after the election, I agree that your disclosure did not go far enough.” Grassley continued, “Without additional context, your disclosure is not fair to Congress, the American people, or Secretary Clinton.” Grassley called for a response to congressional queries on the emails by Friday, November 4.
CNN reported that former Attorney General Eric Holder said, “Good men make mistakes. In this instance, he [Comey] has committed a serious error with potentially severe implications.” Holder said that Comey’s letter “violated long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition” that prevent officials from commenting on ongoing investigations and politically sensitive matters for 60 days prior to an election. “I fear he has unintentionally and negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI,” Holder added.
Former Bush Administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales agreed. “If you delay the announcement, hopefully it’s not going to jeopardize an investigation, it’s not going to jeopardize the pursuit of justice, and voters will have the opportunity to vote on Election Day without information that may in fact be incomplete or untrue,” Gonzales said on CNN.
In the wake of Comey’s letter, it seemed that the FBI was feeling little urgency in the investigation. The Washington Post reported that agents investigating the Wiener case knew of the emails several weeks ago, even though Comey said he only learned of them on Thursday, the day before his letter to Congress. ABC News reported that it was not until Sunday night, three days after Comey learned of the emails, that the FBI finally received a warrant to begin reviewing their contents.