Hillary Clinton on Sunday assailed America’s top cop FBI director James Comey over the timing of relaunching a probe into her use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying the move just ahead of the presidential polls was “unprecedented” and “deeply troubling”.
The development, that comes in the final leg of the campaign for the November 8 election, had the Republican presidential nominee and real estate tycoon Donald Trump seize on to the reignited controversy as he stepped up attacks on his Democratic rival.
At an election rally in Florida, Clinton told cheering supporters: “It is pretty strange. It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election. In fact, in fact, it’s not just strange. It’s unprecedented.”
“And it is deeply troubling because voters deserve get to full and complete facts,” she added as she called on Comey “to explain everything right away, put it all out on the table” and accused Trump of already “making up lies” about the development in the final leg of the campaign.
“He is doing his best to confuse, mislead, and discourage the American people. I think it’s time for Donald Trump to stop fear mongering, to stop disgracing himself, to stop attacking our democracy. We can’t let him get away with this, can we?” Clinton said.
An emboldened Trump, at his own rally in Colorado, accused the Justice Department of trying to protect Clinton.
“You’re supposed to give your emails. The process and the legal process has been taking a long time. It’s very sad that it’s taken so long. And now it’s reported today this morning that the Department of Justice was fighting the FBI and that’s because the Department of Justice is trying so hard to protect Hillary,” the 70-year-old real estate tycoon alleged.
During a rare press conference yesterday, Clinton said she is “confident” the new FBI probe will not change its original finding that she should not be prosecuted.
The Clinton Campaign also questioned the agency’s motive behind its decision taken days before the November 8 election.
“The extraordinary letter that was long on innuendo and short on facts that Director Comey sent yesterday to eight Republican committee chairs. 24 hours after that letter was sent, we have no real explanation of why Director Comey decided to send that letter to congressional leaders,” Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta told reporters.
Podesta alleged the FBI director, by providing selective information, has allowed partisans to distort and exaggerate in order to inflict maximum political damage.
In a statement, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said that by releasing a letter within 60 days of the presidential election, Comey broke with long-standing department tradition that is meant to prevent any influence on the electoral process.
“The letter did not offer enough detail that would allow Americans a full understanding of the development and whether or not it is even significant, which has led to speculation on the part of the media and irresponsible claims by Republican leaders. The FBI must move quickly to release additional clarifying information,” DNC demanded.