Comey Defends Clinton Email Probe in FBI Memo, Says Critics 'Full of Baloney'
Following fierce criticism of the FBI's probe of Hillary Clinton's private email server and the decision not to recommend criminal charges against her, Director James Comey issued a memorandum to his employees on the investigation and the agency's "commitment to transparency."
"Because it is generating a lot of interest, I thought I should update you on where we are with our commitment to transparency in the wake of the Clinton email investigation," Comey began.
With regard to sharing details of the investigation with Congress, Comey wrote that the agency took the “unusual step of sending relevant 302s, our case summary Letter Head Memorandum, and the classified emails we recovered during the investigation.”
"There have been a variety of complaints because we redacted personal information and, at the request of the originating agency, restricted certain classified portions only to the Intelligence Committees, but our production has been unprecedented."
He said that he'd be testifying at a House Judiciary Committee later this month as part of a regular oversight hearing, and expected to take more questions from members about the investigation.
On releasing the summary of the investigation on the Friday before Labor Day Weekend, Comey said the process of finalizing summary simply fell on that morning.
"I almost ordered the material held until Tuesday because I knew we would take all kinds of grief for releasing it before a holiday weekend, but my judgment was that we had promised transparency and it would be game-playing to withhold it from the public just to avoid folks saying stuff about us. We don't play games. So we released it Friday."
Comey said that "at the end of the day, the case was not a cliff-hanger" and that the decision not to recommend charges against Clinton was was less difficult than "how we decided to talk about that judgment."
“At the end of the day, the case itself was not a cliff-hanger; despite all the chest-beating by people no longer in government, there really wasn’t a prosecutable case. The hard part was whether to offer unprecedented transparency about our thinking. I explain to our alumni that I struggled with that part, but decided the best way to protect the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the American people's sense of justice was to announce it in the way we did - with extraordinary transparency and without any kind of coordination.
I explain to our alums that I'm okay if folks have a different view of the investigation (although I struggle to see how they actually could, especially when they didn't do the investigation), or about the wisdom of announcing it as we did (although even with hindsight I think that was the best course), but I have no patience for suggestions that we conducted ourselves as anything but what we are - honest, competent, and independent. Those suggesting that we are "political" or part of some "fix" either don't know us, or they are full of baloney (and maybe some of both)."
He signed off saying, "I will try not to bother you with this any longer."
Read more, here.