Clin­ton blames FBI di­rec­tor Comey for loss Crit­i­cism for re­open­ing probe close to elec­tion

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL - WASH­ING­TON:

Hil­lary Clin­ton on Satur­day blamed FBI di­rec­tor James Comey for her loss in the US pres­i­den­tial race, claim­ing that re­open­ing the probe into her email use broke the mo­men­tum to­wards vic­tory.

Clin­ton told fundrais­ers and donors in a con­fer­ence call that Comey’s two let­ters to Con­gress on the probe had tilted cru­cial states to­wards Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump, US me­dia in­clud­ing Quartz and CNN re­ported. “There are lots of rea­sons why an elec­tion like this is not suc­cess­ful,” Demo­crat Clin­ton told her na­tional fi­nance com­mit­tee, a per­son on the call told on­line mag­a­zine Quartz. “But our anal­y­sis is that Jim Comey’s let­ter rais­ing doubts that were ground­less (and) base­less-and proven to be­stopped our mo­men­tum.”

On Oc­to­ber 28 — less than two weeks be­fore Elec­tion Day-Comey dropped a bomb­shell by in­form­ing Con­gress the FBI was look­ing once more into Clin­ton’s con­tro­ver­sial email prac­tices as sec­re­tary of state af­ter new mes­sages were un­cov­ered. His sec­ond let­ter, on Novem­ber 6, just three days be­fore the elec­tion, stated that the FBI’s re­view of the new emails had un­cov­ered no wrong­do­ing, and that the bureau had not changed its July rec­om­men­da­tion not to charge Clin­ton.

While the first let­ter re­opened old wounds and re­minded vot­ers of the con­tro­versy, the sec­ond let­ter, ac­cord­ing to Clin­ton, had the per­verse ef­fect of en­er­giz­ing ri­val Don­ald Trump’s base, Quartz re­ported.

The let­ters came just as Clin­ton was build­ing mo­men­tum fol­low­ing strong per­for­mances at all three pres­i­den­tial de­bates, and af­ter the re­lease of a dam­ag­ing record­ing of Trump boast­ing about grop­ing women. “Af­ter the third de­bate we felt so good about where we were,” Clin­ton said, ac­cord­ing to Quartz’s source, who chose to re­main anony­mous. The cam­paign anal­y­sis “showed that we were up in all but two of the bat­tle­ground states, where we were tied or one point be­hind. In Ari­zona we were even. We felt real wind at our back.”

But she said the FBI’s last-minute role was too much to “over­come,” a donor on the call told CNN.

In July Comey said that the FBI would not rec­om­mend crim­i­nal charges against Clin­ton for han­dling clas­si­fied doc­u­ments and sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion on a pri­vate email ac­count.

Comey how­ever slammed the prac­tice as “ex­tremely care­less.” The FBI chief came un­der fierce crit­i­cism for ef­fec­tively re­open­ing the Clin­ton probe so close to the Novem­ber 8 vote, with­out know­ing whether the new emails were rel­e­vant. — AFP

GUILDER­LAND, NEW YORK: Po­lice of­fi­cers take up po­si­tions at a door­way of the Cross­gates Mall on Satur­day. — AP

WASH­ING­TON: This file photo taken on Septem­ber 27, 2016 shows FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey wait­ing to tes­tify at a Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Home­land Se­cu­rity and Gov­ern­ment Af­fairs hear­ing on Capi­tol Hill. — AFP

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