Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has accused FBI Director James Comey of potentially breaking the law, following Friday’s announcement that the agency is investigating new evidence regarding Hillary Clinton’s email server, an issue he (and everyone else) had hoped had been put to bed, and not reopened a scant two weeks before the election.
In a letter first obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Reid accuses Comey of violating the Hatch Act, which prevents government officials from using their offices to interfere with elections. In it, Reid says that Comey’s actions “demonstrated a disturbing double standard,” with a “clear intent to aid one political party over another” (Read the full draft here.):
“I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election. Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”
He also noted that Comey has at his disposal privileged information regarding the correspondence between Donald Trump and the Russian government, which Reid has requested be made public. Comey, in turn, denied those requests. Reid goes on:
“The public has a right to know this information,” Reid said. “I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public. There is no danger to American interests from releasing it. And yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information. By contrast, as soon as you came into possession of the slightest innuendo related to Secretary Clinton, you rushed to publicize it in the most negative light possible.”
Reid speaks for many Democrats who feel that Comey’s announcement was preemptive, considering the FBI had yet to obtain warrants to view the emails, which were unearthed during an unrelated investigation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
As of Sunday evening, that warrant has been obtained, which means investigators now have the go-ahead to begin digging through the cache of emails sent by top aide Huma Abedin to Weiner, her estranged husband, from Clinton’s private server.