On Friday, Hillary for America Chair John Podesta responded to the letter sent by FBI Director James Comey to eight Republican committee chairman in Congress about emails gathered in an unrelated case, on a device owned by disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, who is separated from his wife, longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
After FBI Director James Comey completed an investigation more than three months ago into emails related to Mrs. Clinton, he declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this, and said it’s “not even a close call.” Ever since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been second-guessing the FBI, browbeating career officials at the FBI in public and private. Finding it’s losing to Clinton in most reliable, scientific polling, and in an 11th hour attempt to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Trump wants the FBI to revisit their conclusion.
Donald Trump spent part of Saturday in Golden, Colorado, where he said that the FBI’s review of Clinton email practices raises “everybody’s deepest hope that justice, as last, can be properly delivered.” Trump now calls the situation the biggest political scandal since Watergate, the AP reported.
In prepared remarks yesterday, Podesta said , “FBI Director Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen.” He said characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation are hyped up and wrong. Comey’s words do not match that characterization, he said, adding, “…we have no idea what those emails are and the Director himself notes they may not even be significant.”
With news of this kind being released 11 days out from a presidential election, Podesta wants Director Comey to “immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining…We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”
On Saturday, HFA Campaign Manager Robby Mook and Podesta told reporters on a conference call the American people should not be kept in the dark and left to draw their own uninformed conclusions. Mook wants the FBI to explain what prompted the decision and disclose as much information as possible about the situation at hand, given the director’s own admissions on whether the emails amount to anything important.
Podesta said Comey’s letter was “long on innuendo and short on facts,” adding that the more that’s come shows the matter is overblown. Pointing to reports by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, whose reputation is to side with Republicans, Podesta agreed with her claim that Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of a government oversight committee in the House, “obsesses with hanging something around Clinton’s neck.”
NBC has reported that the emails in question were never withheld, and that they didn’t come from Clinton’s email server nor did she send or receive them. Podesta said it’s entirely possible all emails are just duplicates of emails the FBI already possess. “There is no evidence of wrong doing, there is no charge of wrong doing, and they are not even about Hillary,” Podesta told reporters today. He questioned “how this amounts to anything,” adding, “We and Hillary won’t be distracted over nothing.” He questioned why Director Comey would do this when senior officials at the FBI advised him to violate long-standing rules and practices to not comment on on-going investigations and not do anything like this that can affect the outcome of an election.
Robby Mook said the more information that comes out, the more overblown this entire situation seems to be. He said Director Comey acted in appropriately, and had no business writing to Congress, “dropping a bombshell that could be a big dud” since it doesn’t inform voters but fuels further speculation. “It’s unfair to Secretary Clinton and really unfair to voters,” he told reporters on today’s call.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressed her preference of not commenting on on-going investigations or doing anything to affect an election with in 60 days let alone just 11 days. Meanwhile, Mook said “our volunteers are rallying behind Hillary…they know what a fighter she is.” This situation has only increased momentum on the ground.
Podesta told reporters that Huma Abedine, a close aide to Mrs. Clinton has completely and voluntarily complied with the investigation, and that she and her lawyers went through all emails that might possibly be relevant. “We stand behind her,” he said. He said he has not asked the White House to get involved.
Asked whether Comey’s action show partisan intent, Podesta said, “We are not charging him [Comey] with anything other than taking an unprecedented step, for which he owes the American public an explanation.” He said questions about motivation should be directed to Comey.
Mook said the whole issue of Clinton’s emails has been vetted for sometime now, and that voters have “already factored it into their decision making.” He noted that this weekend is one of the campaign’s biggest mobilization weekends; they are seeing people rallying behind Hillary. He told voters to “go to the polls and not let Trump and Republicans have their way.”