FBI director James Comey appeared to disregard Hillary Clinton’s characterization of her email probe as a “security inquiry,” insisting that the bureau only concerns itself with “investigations.”
This comes a week after the Justice Department, in a response to a lawsuit which sought to reveal Hillary Clinton’s communication with the DOJ, acknowledged that the investigation into Clinton’s emails is a “law enforcement matter.”
Ever since the FBI launched an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s alleged used of a private server to share classified governmental information back in August last year, Clinton has repeatedly downplayed the significance of the probe, going on to say on many occasions that FBI’s investigation is merely part of a wider “security inquiry.”
But speaking to reporters in an off-camera briefing on Wednesday, FBI director James Comey appeared to disregard Clinton’s description of the probe, saying that he was unfamiliar with the term that the Democratic front-runner is so fond of using, according to Fox News.
“It’s in our name. I don’t even know what that means, a security inquiry. We do investigations here at the FBI.”
James Comey’s statement directly contradicts the characterization used by Hillary Clinton while describing the email probe ever so often over the last few months. Just this past week in an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, she reiterated that she would cooperate with the FBI in resolving the “security inquiry.”
“I don’t think anything inappropriate was done,” Clinton said in an interview with John Dickerson. “And so I have to let them [the FBI] decide how to resolve their security inquiry.”
Observers of the probe admit that the FBI investigation regarding Clinton’s emails may be drawing towards its conclusion based on the fact that several of her aides have been interviewed by the bureau over the last few weeks.
On Wednesday, The Inquisitr reported about Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and her lawyer, both storming out of an interview with federal investigators when an FBI official began to discuss a topic considered off-limits.
CBS reported last week that Clinton herself will be summoned for questioning under oath by the agency soon. There have been reports suggesting that the FBI is working hard to resolve the email investigation before the July Democratic Convention.
Speaking with reporters, FBI director James Comey admitted that he felt “pressure” to complete the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server competently and quickly, according to Politico.
He said that the pressure of the Clinton investigation is similar to other cases that the FBI handles such as the ones involving international terrorism. Comey’s drawing of such a parallel has been interpreted by many as a sign that the Bureau is fighting against time to conclude the email probe before the Democratic convention.
However, Comey admitted that the first priority of the FBI is to conduct the probe capably.
“We want to do it well and we want to do it promptly. I feel pressure to do both of those things,” he told reporters. “As between the two things, we will always choose ‘well.'”
Furthermore, when asked if he could set a deadline for the resolution of the investigation, James Comey stated that he would not like the investigation to be impeded by a predetermined time-line, or by political events that are out of the agency’s control.
“I don’t tether to any external deadline,” the FBI head said.
“I remain close to that investigation to make sure that it’s done well and has the resources that are needed… My goal in any investigation is to do it well and do it promptly, especially investigations of intense public interest. All of that remains true. It remains under investigation.”
In any case, it appears that the FBI is keen to resolve the investigation sooner rather than later, and while James Comey did acknowledge that the FBI would not be too bothered with time, the admission of “pressure” on his part speaks volumes about the repercussions that the investigation could have on the presidential race.
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