James Comey defended the work of his agents Wednesday in a memo to staff, arguing the decision to spare Hillary Clinton and her aides from prosecution for their mistreatment of classified information was not a difficult one.
CNN says the memo was sent Wednesday, and makes it clear that Comey stands behind how the bureau has handled the Clinton investigation. “At the end of the day, the case itself was not a cliffhanger; despite all the chest-beating by people no longer in government, there really wasn’t a prosecutable case,” he wrote. Sources told CNN that during a recent routine trip to a field office, Comey encountered former agents critical of the FBI’s decision not to recommend charges against Clinton, and Comey gave a similar response.
Another critic is House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who said in a radio interview Tuesday that the Friday email release was “such a patently political move. It makes them look like political operators versus law enforcement officers.” Comey noted in the memo that he “almost ordered the material held until Tuesday because I knew we would take all kinds of grief for releasing it before a holiday weekend, but my judgment was that we had promised transparency and it would be game-playing to withhold it from the public just to avoid folks saying stuff about us. We don’t play games. So we released it Friday. We are continuing to process more material and will release batches of documents as they are ready, no matter the day of the week.”
Jean G. Thomas