In her most extensive remarks since conceding the presidential election to Donald Trump on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that she places blame on FBI Director James Comey for her loss.
The New York Times reports that Clinton said in the course of a 30-minute conference call with donors that Comey’s decision to open a new investigation into the use of her private email server, just 11 days before Election Day, had prevented her from ending her campaign on a strong, optimistic note.
According to a donor, who relayed Clinton’s remarks to the Times, Clinton said, “There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful…our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum.”
On Sunday, just two days before Election Day, Comey announced that he would, once again, not be recommending criminal charges against Clinton. Most of the emails that had been under investigation, it turned out, were personal in nature and duplicates of those that had already been reviewed. One would think this would have been apparent immediately, or at least take less than a week to figure out, despite Comey’s claim that, “We went through this as fast as we could.”
Comey was widely criticized by senior Justice Department officials for sending a letter notifying Congress of the investigation on October 28. They argued that Comey’s action had been unprecedented.
Clinton allegedly told her donors that, following Comey’s announcement of the second investigation, “we dropped, and we had to keep really pushing to regain our advantage, which going into last weekend we had.”