Democrats loudly voiced their displeasure with FBI Director James Comey during a closed-door briefing to discuss Russian hacking on Friday, according to multiple reports.
Several lawmakers told The Hill that some in attendance, including former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, confronted Comey about how he handled the scandal surrounding Russian actors hacking Democratic Party institutions, including the DNC.
Wasserman-Schultz reportedly told Comey that he should have come directly to the DNC with the information about the hacking. Comey responded that he followed the proper procedure in notifying DNC officials of the breach, according to The Hill.
One Democrat reportedly shouted at Comey: “You let us down!”
Lawmakers at the meeting referenced a tense final 15 minutes, but did not elaborate on what exactly was discussed during the final part of the briefing.
“I’m disappointed, outraged — many of us are right now,” Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat from Minnesota, told The Hill. “I’ll wait to pass full judgment, but the exchange that just happened in the final 15 minutes gives me no reason to have confidence.”
He continued: “I was nonjudgmental until the last 15 minutes. I no longer have that confidence in him.”
Rep. Charlie Crist, a Democrat from Florida, said he wants to have faith in Comey but that he has “concerns.”
And Rep. Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made a similar statement.
“I’m extremely concerned — extremely,” he said.
WikiLeaks and other websites posted leaked emails from the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in the weeks and months leading up to the election.
Comey came under fire during the election for announcing a new element of an FBI investigation into Clinton, who was then the Democratic nominee for president, just weeks before Americans headed to the polls. Some Democrats have accused him of swaying the election in Trump’s favour with the move.
The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General announced a new examination Thursday into the FBI’s handling of the investigation of Clinton’s email use.
The probe will focus on Comey’s public announcement of the department’s decision not to bring charges against Clinton for her use of a private server. It will also examine the letter that Comey sent Congress days before the general election announcing that the FBI had renewed its investigation into the server, and other aspects of the Clinton investigation.
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