On Sunday Sen. Bernie Sanders publicly backed a growing call for FBI Director James Comey to resign due to criticism of his decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email server investigation days before the 2016 presidential campaigns.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Sanders called Director Comey’s actions “outrageous.”
“I think he should take a hard look at what he has done, and it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down.”
It is the belief of many that when James Comey told Congress that the FBI would be looking into the private email server of Hillary Clinton he created an atmosphere which led to Trump being elected. Indeed even Hillary Clinton herself has stated that it contributed greatly to her losing. Sanders declined from saying the “decisive” reason that Trump won the election was Comey’s investigation “but clearly his behavior during the campaign and what he said in the week or two before the election was unacceptable.”
Comey had announced 11 days before the election that emails found on the computer of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) would be looked into and may or may not be pertinent to the investigation into the email server that Clinton used to handle classified information when she was running the State Department. Though the FBI later cleared her, again, of the charges a few days later Huffington Post wrote that the damage had already been done and an ethical cloud hung over the rest of Clinton’s campaign.
It seems that the call for Comey to resign is not one which the new President of the United States shares and on Sunday Reince Priebus, the incoming White House Chief of Staff said that the Donald Trump administration did not intend to ask Comey to leave. That is not to say that Trump has faith in the Director however, as Vice President-elect Mike Pence managed to dodge that exact question on Fox News Sunday.
“You’ll have to ask him about that. I know it’s been a subject of some commentary of this last week.”
Sanders joining the call for the FBI Director to resign as well as the flurry of other comments comes three days after an announcement from the Justice Department inspector general that he would investigate Comey’s decision. On Thursday the statement which Inspector General Michael Horowitz gave stated that his probe would be into “allegations that department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed” when Comey made his July announcement. Horowitz says they will also determine if the “investigative decisions were based on improper considerations.”
Director James Comey has not been inspiring confidence in his operations either and reportedly is now refusing to tell Congress of any investigation the FBI is conducting into alleged contacts between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign. Last week the Senate Intelligence Committee were told by Comey that he “would never comment on investigations, whether we have one or not, in an open forum like this.” The words prompted a series of incredulous scoffs from the senators present since he did that exact same thing regarding the Clinton emails.
Politico recalls that Director Comey’s announcement of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was done in a rare press conference on July 28. He also publicly criticized Clinton and her aides for that he classified as “extremely careless” behavior. The press conference was rare as normally federal law enforcement officials do not discuss criminal cases which end without charges being filed. Numerous Republicans, including Donald Trump, had criticized him for it at the time.
In his remarks on Sunday Bernie Sanders said that he found it interesting that Comey “is not doing investigations about the possible ― possible ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russians.”
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]