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Democrats Respond to Director Comey’s Letter

Below are excerpts from statements made by leading Congressional Democrats on FBI Director Comey’s letter to Congress.

Sen. Harry Reid

“There has always been more froth than fact on this issue. Despite the rampant, baseless speculation triggered by Director Comey’s letter, reports suggest that the FBI is not looking at emails from Secretary Clinton, nor are they looking at emails sent from her private server. Now, as always, the public would benefit from more information. Specifically, the public deserves more transparency from the FBI. Director Comey has a responsibility to the public to provide more information than a three-paragraph letter so that the public can base their opinions on facts, not speculation.”

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

“Republicans have spent months attempting to bully the FBI into changing the conclusion of their review.  Sadly but predictably, Republicans are doing their best to misrepresent this letter and warp the FBI’s work to serve their partisan conspiracy-mongering against Hillary Clinton. The Director of the FBI himself stated that, ‘the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.’  Furthermore, there is not any indication that this review involves Secretary Clinton’s own use of emails.  The public interest would be served by the FBI providing the facts, rather than allowing Republicans to stoke innuendo and falsehoods 11 days away from a presidential election.”

Rep. Adam Schiff

“… the deliberately ambiguous nature of the Director’s most recent disclosure — the emails could be significant or insignificant, relevant or irrelevant — contributes nothing to the public’s understanding. When coupled with the acknowledgment that more information will take an indeterminate period of time, it is difficult to see how this latest departure from Department policy has served the public interest.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

“ … This is particularly troubling since so many questions are unanswered. It’s unclear whether these emails have already been reviewed or if Secretary Clinton sent or received them. In fact, we don’t even know if the FBI has these emails in its possession. Without knowing how many emails are involved, who wrote them, when they were written or their subject matter, it’s impossible to make any informed judgment on this development. However, one thing is clear: Director Comey’s announcement played right into the political campaign of Donald Trump, who is already using the letter for political purposes. And all of this just 11 days before the election. Director Comey admits ‘the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.’ He cannot predict how long the investigation will take. And we don’t know if the FBI has these emails in hand. It’s too bad Director Comey didn’t take those gaping holes into consideration when he decided to send this letter. The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”

Letter from Reps. Elijah Cummings and John Conyers to Attorney General Lynch and FBI Director Comey

Although Director Comey’s letter was clear that none of the new material identified by the FBI may be “significant,” the letter provided such limited and vague information that it allowed rampant speculation, numerous leaks, and wild accusations just 11 days before the presidential election. … In fairness to everyone involved, we are writing to request that the FBI and Department of Justice issue a more complete accounting of the details behind this letter, based on information from your career investigators and prosecutors, in order to debunk these conspiracy theories and correct the public record.

Hillary for America Chair John Podesta

“Upon completing this investigation more than three months ago, FBI Director Comey declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this and added that it was not even a close call. In the months since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been baselessly second-guessing the FBI and, in both public and private, browbeating the career officials there to revisit their conclusion in a desperate attempt to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. … Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the Director himself notes they may not even be significant. It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election. The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”

DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile

“FBI Director Comey unequivocally cleared Hillary Clinton of any intentional wrongdoing three months ago, and said that no reasonable prosecutor would pursue the case in question further. Now, 11 days away from the election, he released a vague letter that immediately led to rampant speculation in the news media. This would be an irresponsible action at any time and, unsurprisingly, Donald Trump and Republicans are rushing to politicize this episode without any of the facts. The FBI has a solemn obligation to remain neutral in political matters – even the faintest appearance of using the agency’s power to influence our election is deeply troubling. At the very least, Director Comey must immediately address the serious outstanding questions over what, precisely his letter means, and what action or actions his agency plans to take.”

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