A letter from two Republican senators claims that there is evidence former FBI Director James Comey had made the decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton long before an FBI investigation into her handling of sensitive intelligence was completed.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wrote to current FBI Director Christopher Wray that Comey’s preparation of the statement to exonerate Clinton in April or May 2016 showed a prejudicial bias in her favor. Comey announced in July 2016 that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton.
Grassley and Graham requested documents related to Comey’s drafting of his statement about Clinton.
“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second — that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” the letter stated.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the claim gave more support for President Donald Trump’s decision to dismiss Comey.
“If it is as accurate as they say it is, that would certainly give cause and reason that Jim Comey was not the right person to lead the FBI,” she told reporters during the White House press briefing Thursday.
Grassley and Graham said a government watchdog agency, the Office of Special Counsel, provided them with transcripts of interviews showing Comey had began drawing up the exoneration statement at least six weeks before he made it public.
That timeframe would put Comey’s drafting of the statement before certain key witnesses in the case were interviewed — including Clinton.
Longtime Trump ally and friend Roger Stone reacted on Twitter to the news, saying that the president “should order [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions to arrest/indict and perp Wall [sic] Comey for obstruction. Send signal to Mueller he is next.”
Fox News Business host and Trump supporter Lou Dobbs asked his followers in a Twitter poll if they believed “Former FBI Director James Comey was complicit in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal cover-up.” Ninety-four percent voted in the affirmative.
#LDTPoll: Do you believe Former FBI Director James Comey was complicit in Hillary Clinton's email scandal cover-up?
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) August 31, 2017
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted, “Comey has some explaining to do — otherwise people will conclude his investigation was a sham.”