WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said FBI Director James Comey is "more in his wheelhouse" now that the agency he leads is investigating President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign for possible ties it had to the Russian government and not Hillary Clinton for using a private email server while she was secretary of state.
During a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday, TheBlaze asked Pelosi about a statement she made just before the election, in which she seemed to suggest that Comey should consider stepping down. Her pre-election comment came just days after Comey sent a letter to Congress saying the FBI had effectively re-opened its investigation into Clinton's email after the discovery of new messages on former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop. Weiner was at the time married to longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.
"Maybe he's not in the right job. I think that we have to just get through this election and just see what the casualties are along the way," Pelosi said during a CNN interview that aired Nov. 2.
But on Thursday, three days after Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee, where he confirmed that the FBI had been looking into the Trump campaign for possible ties to Russia since July, Pelosi praised the FBI chief, saying that she has "respected" his "courageous" work throughout his career.
Comey had previously served as deputy attorney general under former President George W. Bush.
But she made an exception in her respect for Comey when the FBI re-opened its probe into Clinton just days before the Nov. 8 election.
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Now that Comey has confirmed the existence of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign, Pelosi said the director is acting "more in his wheelhouse":
I do believe that what the director did during the campaign was inappropriate by his own words. In the first week of October, Director Comey said that he would not sign the consensus document that said the Russians were interfering in our election. The other leaders in the intelligence community signed off on that. He said it's too close to the election. It was the first week in October.
Two weeks later, for some reason, but heralded by Rudy Giuliani a couple of days before, he says that he's looking into Hillary Clinton's emails again, which, this may be of no significance, he said, but we're looking into her emails. Now we're like 10 days before the election. Two weeks earlier it was too late by his own words and now we're looking into her emails. That had a direct impact on the election.
I think in this role now he's more in his wheelhouse as the director of the FBI conducting an investigation. I don't know what he was doing on the political side. I thought that was very wrong what he did. ... I think in this investigation he seems to be working from the facts and where the facts take us.
TheBlaze then asked Pelosi how the investigation into the Trump campaign is any different from its investigation into Clinton, given the longstanding precedent of the FBI to generally not confirm or deny the existence of ongoing investigations.
Pelosi said she asked Comey that very question. But before disclosing to reporters Comey's answer, Pelosi stopped herself so as to not get into the "classified arena." She went on to explain two "standards" when it comes to announcing or not announcing an FBI investigation.
One reason for not announcing, Pelosi said, is so that the bureau does not "give warning to the target of the investigation." On the other hand, one reason why the FBI would announce an investigation is if the case is "of significant national interest."
"I think this is of significant national interest," Pelosi said, referring to the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign.
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