It’s been two years since ex-FBI director James Comey held a news conference to say the bureau wouldn’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server.
Then, three months later, with less than two weeks before Clinton would face Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States, Comey sent a letter to members of the U.S. Congress saying his probe into the Democrat’s activities was being reopened after emails were found on aide Huma Abedin’s computer.
Coverage of James Comey and Hillary Clinton on Globalnews.ca:
Clinton lost the election, and she and her ex-president husband Bill would say the letter helped to scuttle her chances with voters.
“James Comey cost her the election,” he said.
But now, 18 months into Trump’s presidency, the former FBI head has made clear in a tweet what he thinks U.S. voters should do: vote Democrat in the fall’s midterm elections if they “believe in this country’s values.”
Comey’s tweet came one day after the U.S. president took Vladimir Putin’s side over allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.
At a summit in Helsinki with the Russian president, Trump said, “I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server.”
Comey earlier tweeted about Trump’s remarks at the summit, urging patriots to “stand up and reject the behaviour of this president.”
Comey’s tweets came just over a month after U.S. Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a report saying Comey deviated from the FBI’s standard practices when he investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Horowitz concluded, however, that there was no evidence to suggest his actions prior to the election were driven by political bias.
And not prosecuting Clinton was “consistent with the department’s historical approach in prior cases under different leadership,” a source who was acquainted with the report said at the time.
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said the report showed “beyond doubt” that Comey’s actions weren’t fair to Clinton — especially given that he didn’t announce during the campaign a probe into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.
Analysis by FiveThirtyEight found that Comey’s letter probably did cost Clinton the election, saying it probably shifted as much as three or four percentage points over to Trump.
Trump later fired Comey on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
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