Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday called on FBI Director James Comey to resign, further referring to the embattled FBI leader as "J. Edgar Hoover."
Hoover served as FBI director from 1924 until his death in 1972. According to Biography.com, Hoover "ordered illegal surveillance against suspected enemies of the state and political opponents" during his tenure at the bureau.
Reid, who is retiring after serving more than three decades in Congress, compared Comey's recent actions related to the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server to the "illegal" behavior of Hoover.
The latest development comes just hours after a report surfaced that alleges sources closely connected to the Russian government provided WikiLeaks with hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee because it wanted to improve President-elect Donald Trump's chances of winning the election. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, however, last month denied that the emails came from the Russian government.
"I am so disappointed in Comey. He has let the country down for partisan purposes. That's why I call him J. Edgar Hoover. Because I believe that," Reid told MSNBC's Joy Reid on Saturday.
Later asked if Comey should resign as FBI director, Reid replied, "of course." Reid also said that Comey should be investigated by the U.S. Senate and other security agencies of the government.
"If there were ever a matter of security, it's this," Reid said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who will replace Reid as Senate Minority Leader next month, on Saturday echoed his predecessor's call for a Senate investigation. He told the Washington Post:
Senate Democrats will join with our Republican colleagues next year to demand a congressional investigation and hearings to get to the bottom of this. It's imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation.
Despite the report that Russia may have interfered in the U.S. presidential election, journalist Glenn Greewald argues that the information should be taken with a grain of salt. He explained his reasoning in a Saturday article published by the Intercept:
Deep down in its article, the [Washington] Post notes – rather critically – that “there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.” Most importantly, the Post adds that “intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin ‘directing’ the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks.” But the purpose of both anonymous leaks is to finger the Russian Government for these hacks, acting with the motive to defeat Hillary Clinton.
The Trump transition team, for its part, blasted the CIA in a statement issued Friday night:
These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and "Make America Great Again."