Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday backed calls for FBI Director James Comey’s resignation, sharply criticizing the way he handled Hillary Clinton’s email investigation during the presidential campaign.
“I think he should take a hard look at what he has done. And I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Just days before the 2016 election, Comey told Congress that the FBI was looking into emails found on a computer belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) that might or might not be pertinent to the investigation into Clinton’s email server and handling of classified information while she ran the State Department.
The announcement caused a firestorm and cast an ethical cloud over Clinton that never fully evaporated, even when the FBI cleared her ― again ― a few days later. It was an unprecedented step into the political process by the FBI that generated intense criticism from both sides.
Now, Comey is refusing to tell Congress if the FBI has an investigation into alleged contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
“I would never comment on investigations, whether we have one or not, in an open forum like this,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, resulting in incredulous scoffs from senators who remember him doing just that regarding the Clinton emails.
Comey also enraged House Democrats after a classified briefing about Russia last week, prompting several members to say they’ve lost confidence in him. According to The Guardian, Comey upset both Democratic and Republican members by refusing to say whether the FBI is investigating ties between Trump and the Russian government.
“I think that Comey acted in an outrageous way during the campaign,” Sanders said Sunday. “And, you know, no one can say that this was decisive and this was what elected Trump, but clearly his behavior during the campaign in terms of what he said in the week or two before the election was unacceptable. And it is interesting that he is not doing investigations about the possible ― possible ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russians.”
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