FBI chief again defends Clinton probe
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers may question the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state, but they should not question the investigation’s thoroughness, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday as he again defended the agency’s actions.
“You can call us wrong, but don’t call us weasels. We are not weasels. We are honest people, and we did this in that way,” Comey said under hours of questioning at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Republicans grilled Comey on the FBI’s yearlong investigation into the potential mishandling of classified email, which concluded in July when the FBI recommended against prosecution and the Justice Department closed the case.
They demanded to know why key witnesses had been granted some kind of im- munity, questioned him on his interpretation of the felony statute at issue and argued that the outcome revealed a double standard in the treatment of powerful public figures.
But Comey again insisted that no one else would have been prosecuted for the same acts — even if they might have gotten into trouble with their employer.
“To prosecute on these facts would be a double standard because Jane and Joe Smith would not be prosecuted on these facts,” Comey said.
Republicans were not mollified, arguing that Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, illegally mishandled classified information.
On another topic, Comey said the FBI will have up and running within two years a database that tracks instances of police use of deadly force. Demands for more complete records have grown in the past two years amid a series of highprofile deaths at the hands of police officers.
FBI Director James Comey offers testimony on Wednesday.