FBI chief again de­fends Clin­ton probe

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Matthew Daly and Eric Tucker

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.

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