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We Don't Play Games': FBI's Comey Defends Decision to Release Clinton Notes Ahead of Holiday Weekend

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"Those suggesting that we are 'political' or part of some 'fix' either don't know us."

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

In an internal memo, FBI Director James Comey defended the bureau's decision to release notes from its interview with Hillary Clinton regarding the email investigation on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend.

According to the Wednesday note, obtained first by CNN, Comey said the FBI doesn't "play games" but simply released the report when it was ready.

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Comey has been criticized by many Republicans who argued the decision to dump the information ahead of a holiday weekend was politically motivated.

"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," Comey wrote in the memo.

"We don't play games," he continued. "So we released it Friday. We are continuing to process more material and will release batches of documents as they are ready, no matter the day of the week."

Though he said Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state "extremely careless," Comey insisted Wednesday that his decision to not recommend charges against her was not a close call.

"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," he wrote.

Toward the end of the memo, Comey set his sights on those who have suggested his decision may have been politically expedient.

"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)," the memo read.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Comey and his staff at the FBI were acting as "political operators."

"It's like the most buried time you could ever put out a story. I'm surprised," Ryan told WRJN's Glenn Klein. I can't believe that they would do what is such a patently political move. It makes them look like political operators versus law enforcement officers."

See the memo in full below:

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