After the FBI's original decision not to recommend criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her handling of classified information, many on the Left praised the bureau's director, James Comey, for his decision.
As news broke Friday that the FBI might be taking a second look at Clinton's case after viewing emails "pertinent to [her] investigation" that were found during an "unrelated" probe--which is said to be the investigation of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)'s perverse sexting habits, Comey was hit by harsh criticism by some of those who initially praised him.
Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Benghazi Committee and a staunch Clinton supporter, said in July that he was "proud" of Comey for "doing the right thing", calling him the "epitome of... a public servant", according to Politico.
— Kristin Salaky (@KristinSalaky) July 7, 2016
Shortly after the FBI's July decision, President Obama said he would not comment too thoroughly on the topic, but praised Comey for his "exhaustive" investigation.
Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut, also a Clinton supporter, said in July that he "expected" the initial announcement "for a long time": "I'm frankly sorry it took this long to clear her name and hopefully this campaign can return to the issues that really matter to the American people."
House Minority Leader Nancy D. Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Comey a "great man" for his original decision not to suggest charges against Clinton, and an MSNBC editorial said Democrats saw the decision as putting a "spring in Hillary's step".
But, since news of further emails coming to light broke, many Democrats have changed their tune on Comey and the bureau:
Cummings, by contrast, said Friday he was "surprised" by the letter Comey sent to Congress, which said that further pertinent emails had been found on what is apparently Weiner's computer: "I can understand the FBI's concern about being attacked for not keeping Republicans informed of any possible development... but I believe the FBI now has an obligation to make public as much information as possible as soon as possible to eliminate any inaccuracies."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein was similarly critical of the FBI's decision to alert Congress:
Feinstein: The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break..is appalling
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 28, 2016
Liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said the FBI should immediately release information on their recent decision:
Comey needs to provide full info immediately. Otherwise he has clearly made a partisan intervention, betraying his office.
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) October 28, 2016
Krugman's thoughts were echoed by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta:
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) October 28, 2016
Pelosi offered a scathing statement as well:
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) October 28, 2016
Former Obama chief of staff David Axelrod, now a commentator, characterized Friday's news as the FBI's version of covering one's behind:
.@FBI director Comey covering institutional butt /today's announcement, but it's really irresponsible not to clarify what it means.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) October 28, 2016
Other Twitter reaction was swift and critical as well:
James Comey made a big, stinking mess, and he needs to clean it up.
My effort to sort through the latest: https://t.co/03RdWYwSgC
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 29, 2016
For all we know, they may be entirely duplicates.https://t.co/l4y9NmTuP8
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) October 29, 2016
Real question is whether Comey gonna admit he screwed up w/ his vagueness & fix the mess he made, or let his ego damage public rep of @FBI.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 29, 2016
Additionally, Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, apparently deleted nearly his entire Twitter feed.
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