Something strange happened Friday after the FBI director’s bombshell revelation of newly obtained emails that he said may be relevant to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server: The presidential campaigns of Democrat Clinton and Republican Donald Trump found common ground.
Both camps demanded that FBI Director James Comey disclose more details about the emails and the bureau’s investigation, which he made known in a letter to Congress just 11 days before the election.
“FBI Director Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen,” Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said in a statement that called Comey’s move “extraordinary.”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said she agreed with Podesta’s demand. Voters, she told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, “have a right to know who this woman is, because you look at the polling and it’s exactly who they suspect she is.”
Comey’s letter prompted cheers from Trump supporters, who would like to see Clinton in trouble. But it also sparked a wave of complaint from Democrats, and even some former Department of Justice officials, questioning the timing of Comey’s letter and its scant details likely to leave many voters bewildered. Many challenged the FBI director’s motives, increasing the pressure on him to comply with calls from both campaigns for more information.
Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice spokesman, turned to Twitter to question Comey’s judgment.
“This is such an inappropriate public disclosure by Comey,” Miller wrote. “And sadly the latest in a long string of them. But today’s disclosure might be worst abuse yet.”
Miller told Politico that the Justice Department typically avoids discussing investigations within 60 days of an election because “voters have no way to interpret FBI/DOJ activity in a neutral way.” He also noted that Comey seems only to comment on ongoing investigations when they involve Clinton.
One former federal prosecutor said Comey acted “totally inappropriately.”
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