Comey Says It Makes Him 'Mildly Nauseous' To Think He Impacted Election
There's no question FBI Director James Comey had a major impact on the 2016 US presidential election, and he doesn't seem to feel all that bad about it.
Comey expressed unease over how he might have impacted the election, but still stood by the FBI's actions on Wednesday.
"It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might've had some impact on the election," Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
He said, "Concealment in my view would have been catastrophic."
"It was a hard choice, I still believe in retrospect the right choice," Comey told Senators, "I can't consider for a second whose political fortunes will be affected."
In his opening remarks, committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, said,
A cloud of doubt hangs over the FBI's objectivity. The public's faith in the FBI, Congress, and our democratic process has been tested lately.
Grassley's sentiments are definitely echoed by many across the US.
A March Harvard-Harris poll showed nearly 70 percent of voters disapprove of Comey.
A little over week before Election Day (11 days), on October 28, Comey sent a letter to Congress regarding Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.
The reopening of the investigation was sparked by the discovery of some data on Anthony Weiner's computer. Weiner was married to Huma Abedin, close advisor to Clinton. There was data of emails found on his computer in an unrelated investigation.
Ultimately, what was discovered in terms of Clinton's emails proved highly inconsequential in the email investigation.
This was months after Comey publicly stated the FBI had found no evidence of criminal wronging on Clinton's part.
Subsequently, Comey cleared Clinton of wrongdoing once again. But the damage was already done.
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton blamed Comey, among other reasons, for her loss.
Speaking with journalist Christiane Amanpour onstage at an event for Women for Women in New York City, Clinton said, "If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president."
"I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had."
But she added she was "on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off."
There's definitely a strong case to be made for this. Comey, however, only seems to "mildly" agree.