After FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI is reviewing new emails involving its investigation of Hillary Clinton, the Justice Department vowed to “dedicate all necessary resources” to concluding the review promptly.
The promise comes as a surprise to some, especially after the Justice Dept. seemingly attempted to stonewall an FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation back in January. The Wall Street Journal reported that at the time, some witnesses said Justice Department officials were “stern, icy and dismissive of the case.”
After his Friday announcement, Comey received harsh backlash from Democrats, some of whom went as far as to say he violated the Hatch Act. Most likely, the department wants to finish the investigation as quickly as possible to assuage concerns that Comey has intentions to interfere with the election.
Many, including Clinton, have demanded more details from the FBI, as critics have assailed Comey’s announcement as vague and unprecedented.
“It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election” because “voters deserve to get full and complete facts,” Clinton said at a campaign rally in Daytona Beach, Fla. “If you’re like me, you probably have a few questions about it,” she said, implying the letter’s lack of detail allows Republicans to politicize it.
Several Republicans, including Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, expressed enthusiasm for Comey’s decision, as they felt Clinton had received preferential treatment from the FBI, especially in comparison to other cases involving a mishandling of classified information.
In September, Comey defended the probe and the FBI’s decision not to push for Clinton’s indictment.
“You can call us wrong, but don’t call us weasels. We are not weasels,” Comey said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in September. “We are honest people, and whether or not you agree with the result, this was done the way you want it to be done.”
However, Comey said at the time he would “look at any new and substantial information” that may come to light.
Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Ben Cardin, D-Md., said they found Comey’s letter “troubling” and said it “leaves so many questions unanswered.”
Together, they wrote a letter to the Justice Department, requesting information regarding the investigative steps the FBI is taking, how many emails are involved and how many may be duplicates of ones already reviewed.
The department attempted to soothe unease felt by the Democrat senators, sending a concise letter promising an expedited review.
Admittedly, the letter provides no further details, simply acknowledging concerns the senators had raised and stating that the department hopes to finish its examination without delay.
“We assure you that the Department will continue to work closely with the FBI and together dedicate all necessary resources and appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible,” wrote Peter Kadzik, the assistant attorney general.
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