Top Senate Democrat says FBI email action ‘may have broken law’
THE US Senate’s top Democrat blasted FBI chief James Comey for announcing a new review of Hillary Clinton’s emails just days before the presidential election, an action he says “may have broken the law”.
Allegations Ms Clinton put the US at risk by using a private email server while secretary of state were thrust back into the spotlight when Mr Comey revealed a renewed FBI probe into the matter based on a previously unknown trove of emails.
“As soon as you came into possession of the slightest innuendo related to secretary Clinton, you rushed to publicise it in the most negative light possible,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said.
“Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” Mr Reid said, alleging Mr Comey had violated the Hatch Act, which bars the FBI from influencing elections.
The probe was renewed after agents seized a laptop used by Ms Clinton’s close aide, Huma Abedin, and her now estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.
The disgraced former congressman who resigned in 2011 after sending explicit online messages is under investigation over allegations he sent sexual overtures to a 15-year-old girl.
Ms Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump have piled pressure on Mr Comey to put his cards on the table and end speculation about the investigation before America goes to the polls on November 8.
US networks reported on October 30 that the FBI had obtained a warrant to search the emails. It formerly had a warrant only to search Mr Weiner’s laptop for communication with the teenager.
According to CNN, discovery of the emails occurred weeks ago although the FBI did not reveal the matter until October 28.
In the same memo, Mr Reid also struck out at the FBI chief for sitting on “explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government”.
“I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public,” Mr Reid said. –
James Comey is accused of being too quick to publicise the matter.