Senator Chuck Grassley uses the words “not fair” to describe the FBI director’s announcement that emails were discovered which could be related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Without more information about the decision by Director James Comey to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee, Republican Grassley says the announcement “did not go far enough.”
Grassley says, “We need more information of how Comey came to the conclusion that he ought to reopen it, not anything about the details of the email.” In a letter sent to Comey on Monday, Grassley says, “Without additional context, your disclosure is not fair to Congress, the American people or Secretary Clinton.” Grassley asked Comey to answer a series of questions about the renewed probe by Friday, as next Tuesday is Election Day.
“Getting to the point of why you sought a search warrant and then let the evidence speak for itself,” Grassley says. “We don’t expect him to say anything about the evidence because, obviously, he doesn’t know the details yet either.”
Grassley says he understands why Comey was “vague” in his announcement as there are some 650,000 emails that may need to be reviewed. He’s encouraging the FBI to pursue the investigation thoroughly and not to allow procedures to be rushed by the looming election, the White House, the Clinton campaign or anything else.
Still, Grassley says Comey should have offered a few more key nuggets of information without stepping over the legal line. “He wouldn’t be doing anything that would influence the election by stating why he felt it was necessary to do it, how he got the information and then the final decision on moving forward,” Grassley says. In his letter to Comey, Grassley said: “In the absence of additional, authoritative information from the FBI in the wake of your vague disclosure, Congress and the American people are left to sift through anonymous leaks from Justice Department officials to the press of varying levels of detail, reliability, and consistency. The American people deserve better than that.”
A Republican who served as the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush has filed a complaint against the FBI director, accusing Comey of violating the law which bars federal employees from using their positions to influence an election. Other officials who used to work in the Justice Department have criticized Comey for his public revelations since agents don’t yet know whether the emails are connected to Clinton.