FBI Director James Comey said he felt “nauseous” when he thought his investigation of Hillary Clinton could impact the outcome of the 2016 election, but he defended his decision to reopen the polls with only eleven days left for the election.
Comey spoke publicly today for the first time of the election campaign decisions that have cost him harsh criticism from Democrats, including Clinton, who said Tuesday he was convinced he would have made it to the White House if the director The FBI would not have reopened the investigation.
“But I honestly would not change my decision,” the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s terrible, I feel nauseous thinking it might have had some impact on the election.
Comey defended the decision he made on October 28, eleven days before the election, to notify Congress of the reopening of the investigation related to Clinton’s use of private mail servers for official communications when she was Secretary of State ( 2009-2013).
“To have hidden (the new research) from my point of view would have been catastrophic,” comey said.
Months before sending the notice to Congress last July, Comey himself had announced at a press conference that the FBI would not file criminal charges against Clinton and his collaborators because he had not intended to break the law, although they had acted in a manner negligent.
Indeed, Comey explained to the senators that he decided to reopen the investigation because FBI agents found “thousands” of emails from the former Secretary of State in the laptop of excongresista Anthony Weiner, an ex-wife of one of the closest advisers to the then Democratic candidate, Huma Abedin.
The FBI agents found that post in the first three months of Clinton to be the head of US diplomacy.
“She was using a BlackBerry phone at the time and this discovery was obviously very important, because if there was evidence that she was acting badly, she would be in those three months,” Comey argued.
However, the findings did not change the FBI’s view, which later announced that the new mails did not make him press charges against Clinton.
However, many Democrats felt that the damage was already done and, in fact, Clinton yesterday blamed Comey for his failure, noting in New York that he was “on the way to winning” until the FBI Director made the decision Open a new survey, which “raised doubts” in the minds of Americans.
Democratic senators repeatedly asked Comey why he had decided to publicly announce the investigation to Clinton rather than open to Trump and his advisers to determine if they had inappropriate contacts with Russian agents to influence the outcome of the election.
Comey waited until last March to publicly announce that the FBI was investigating whether there was any “coordination” between Russia and the Trump campaign.
In response, the director of the FBI defended his neutrality, warned that he will not talk about the results of the Russian investigation until he has finished and added: “I do not know what we will say when we are finished, but that is how we also manage the investigation to Clinton”.
However, Comey warned that the Russian government is still trying to influence US policy and that, in fact, it has become the “biggest threat” to the nation’s security.
Stronger words had for the WikiLeaks portal, which he described as “pornography” of intelligence information for having exceeded any “limit” to uncover classified information recklessly and with the aim of seeking controversy.
Comey said WikiLeaks has become a conduit for Russian intelligence services because it allows them to publish information designed to “harm” the United States.
In response to senators’ questions, Comey declined to disclose whether the government is preparing charges against Australian portal founder Julian Assange for his role in various classified information thefts, as revealed by some US media in April.
Comey remarked that he would not comment on possible charges pending against Assange because “he has not been arrested” since he is a refugee at the Embassy of Ecuador in London.
During the 2016 election campaign in the United States, WikiLeaks published a great deal of damaging information for Clinton, as emails from important members of his team, including messages from John Podesta,