Former FBI Director James Comey stated in an interview that even if he had known it would help Donald Trump win the election, he still would have sent the letter that effectively reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just 11 days before the 2016 presidential election.
Comey, during an interview ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday, said that a close aide at the FBI also asked the same question.
“I would. I would. In fact, that was a question asked by one of my best people — a deputy general counsel in the FBI who is a very thoughtful and quiet person, who didn’t speak a lot. And that — that morning we were making that decision, she asked, ‘Should you consider that what you’re about to do may help elect Donald Trump president’?”
Comey said that he paused and thanked her for the question.
“‘That’s a great question. But the answer is not for a moment because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent force in American life. If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done. We’re no longer that group in America that is apart from the partisans, and that can be trusted. We’re just another player in the — in the tribal battle.”
Hillary Clinton on multiple occasions blamed Comey’s decision to send the letter as the reason for her loss of the election.
According to Comey, the decision was made because Clinton emails had also turned up on the laptop of former Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner as part of a separate investigation. At that time Weiner was married to close Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
“Try to realize that I’m not trying to help a candidate or hurt a candidate,” Comey said. “I’m trying to do the right thing. And you can come up with different conclusions. Reasonable people would have chosen a different door for reasonable reasons. But it’s just not fair to say we were doing it for some illegitimate reason.”