FBI director not meddling in election: White House

White House will not 'defend or criticize' James Comey

FBI director not meddling in election: White House

World Bulletin / News Desk

The White House on Monday said the head of the FBI is not attempting to influence the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The comment follows a wave of criticism directed at James Comey after he said the bureau found new emails related to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that he would not “defend or criticize” Comey, but said that the FBI director is “a man of principle” who President Barack Obama does not think is trying to influence the election.  

“The president doesn't believe that he's secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party,” he said.

Comey wrote to lawmakers Friday to say that emails "pertinent to the investigation" into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state were found and being reviewed by the bureau.

Comey said that the emails were discovered as part of an unrelated investigation into disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner who is being investigated for allegedly sending lewd photographs to an underage girl.

Weiner is married to top Clinton adviser Huma Abedin, but the couple is estranged. 

Clinton’s email controversy has become the Achilles' heel of the Democratic campaign since it was revealed that the 2009-2013 Secretary of State was using her private email server to correspond, potentially exposing classified information.

For her part, Clinton has responded to the most recent revelation with a request that Comey make all relevant documents public in a bid to dispel a groundswell of speculation so close to Election Day.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch reportedly pressured Comey not to go forward with sending the letter. And a wave of anonymous sources within the Justice Department have reportedly blasted the decision, saying it violates decades of common practice at the bureau to avoid even the appearance of interfering with elections.

Comey is “in a tough spot”, Earnest said. 

“And he's the one who will be in a position to defend his actions in the face of significant criticism from a variety of legal experts, including individuals who served in senior Department of Justice positions in administrations that were led by presidents in both parties,” he said.

Comey dismissed pressure last month to reopen the controversial emails probe following its termination in July.

After announcing his decision not to pursue charges, he endured a grilling from House Republicans in a make-or-break moment for Clinton’s bid for the Oval Office.

Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2016, 09:07
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