Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Former FBI head: assumption Clinton would win a factor in email probe

Former FBI head: assumption Clinton would win a factor in email probe

Fired by Trump in May, Comey has launched this week the media tour for his new book, A Higher Loyalty, with excerpts and quotes scattered across news outlets.

He wrote: "Assuming, as almost everyone did, that Hillary Clinton would be elected president of the United States in less than two weeks, what would happen to the FBI, the Justice Department or her own presidency if it later was revealed, after the fact, that she still was the subject of an FBI investigation?" Comey ended up not recommending charges, but told Congress that he was reopening the probe just several days before the election because messages were discovered in an unrelated probe into Anthony Weiner, the husband of Clinton's right-hand woman Huma Abedin.

Comey is frank about what a distasteful task the investigation of a major presidential candidate represented for an agency that aspired to preserve its independence in an election rent by poisonous partisanship.

Conventional wisdom had Clinton winning the hotly contested general election, with the Democrat leading most national polls for months, only to lose the electoral college vote to Trump in November.

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Former FBI director James Comey wrote in his new book that classified information, still unknown to the public, could have "cast serious doubt" on Loretta Lynch's ability to investigate Hillary Clinton's email server in 2016. That episode convinced Comey that he needed to step forward with his own public accounting of the email server investigation.

Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. did not contradict the Clinton campaign at the time because it was not yet appropriate to publicly confirm an investigation.

Trump, who has accused Comey of leaking information to the press and lying about their interactions, initially praised Comey at a campaign rally in MI on October 31, 2016.

In early 2016, the USA government became aware of information from a classified source, and "the source and content of that material remains classified as I write this", according to the book. Comey has testified that it makes him "mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election". According to The Hill, Comey writes that Trump was concerned that his wife Melania would believe there was even a "one percent" chance the allegations are true.

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