FBI: He did not want to take any risks that could tarnish its integrity. But James Comey, the first officer of the United States now finds itself in an impossible position, accused of having interfered in fact in the presidential campaign just days before the election.
Last Friday, in a brief letter to leaders of Congress, the FBI boss had announced the discovery of a potential branching in the survey on the use by Hillary Clinton a private server when she was Secretary of? State. Mr. Comey, 55, then says he does not know if this discovery is significant.
It also explains the FBI staff in another letter he feels “obliged” to mention this finding to Congress, “because I testified several times in recent months that our investigation was complete.” “In the middle of an election, there is a significant risk of being misunderstood,” he acknowledges.
And misunderstood, he was seemingly everywhere.
“This is the biggest political scandal since Watergate” scandal provoked the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, insists from the Republican candidate for the White House Donald Trump, without waiting to see what’s in the thousands of emails, many of which could be duplicates already examined.
They were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the husband of a very close associate of Mrs. Clinton, Huma Abedin.
It is “strange that something like this was published, with so little information, just before an election,” complains Mrs. Clinton, in a meeting in Florida. “This is unprecedented and it is deeply disturbing,” added the Democratic candidate for the White House, demanding that all the facts are on the table. A message repeats at every around him.
The leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, Harry Reid, also worries in a letter to Mr Comey of “two weights, two measures” by pretending want him to “help one party over the other.” “Through your partisan actions, you may have violated the law,” he wrote.
The former Minister of Justice Eric Holder Democrat denounced him “a serious mistake with potentially serious implications” from a “man of integrity and honor.” He recalled in an open letter published by the Washington Post that the Department of Justice policy – which is attached to the FBI – is not to comment on ongoing investigations and be especially careful when approaching an election .
The boss of the FBI, not inset Republican appointed by Barack Obama for ten years in 2013, warned the leaders of the ministry’s intention to write to Congress. They unsuccessfully tried to dissuade him.
But could he do otherwise?
He thought the information would be leaked to the media, with the risk that his silence should be interpreted as an attempt to conceal, have given close to the Washington Post.
“He was in an impossible situation,” also said Monday the campaign manager Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway. “He had to know that his testimony (before Congress in July) was not true.”
At the time, Mr. Comey had defied tradition by announcing a surprise press conference that he saw no material proceedings against Clinton in the matter of his private server, even if she had shown ” an “extreme negligence” by disseminating “highly sensitive information”.
Two days later, testifying before the Republican Congress, he promised to return to elected if new developments.
The question is what’s in the email, including whether it contained confidential information from the State Department.
The FBI was allowed to examine the Sunday evening by a judge.
According to experts, it is not safe, even working quickly, it can reach conclusions before the election of 8 November.