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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hillary declined to say whether, if elected, she'd ask Comey to resign. FBI infighting over how to handle Hillary scandals erupts into public view-Washington Post, 11/3/2016

"Clinton, who seemed to have momentum in battleground state polls before Comey’s Friday bombshell, notably declined on Thursday to say whether, if elected, she would ask the FBI director to resign."...
 
11/3/2016, "‘He’s got to get control of the ship again’: How tensions at the FBI will persist after the election," Washington Post,

Deep divisions inside the FBI and the Justice Department over how to handle investigations dealing with Hillary Clinton will probably fester even after Tuesday’s presidential election and pose a significant test for James B. Comey’s leadership of the nation’s chief law enforcement agency. 

The internal dissension has exploded into public view recently with leaks to reporters about a feud over the Clinton Foundation, an extraordinary airing of the agency’s infighting that comes as the bureau deals with an ongoing threat of terror at home and a newly aggressive posture from Russia. 

Comey, meanwhile, has come under direct fire for his decision to tell Congress that agents were resuming their investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server--a revelation that put him at odds with his Justice Department bosses.... 

[FBI agents pressed Justice unsuccessfully for probe of Clinton Foundation] 

“He’s got to get control of the ship again,” said Robert Anderson, a former senior official in the FBI who considers Comey a friend. 

“There’s a lot of tension in the organization, and there’s a lot of tension in Congress and the Senate right now, and all that counts toward how much people trust the FBI.”

Comey has been under fire since Friday from lawmakers in both parties and even President Obama for his decision to inform Congress of the new developments in the email probe just 11 days before Election Day. On Thursday, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post that Comey had learned three weeks earlier of the discovery of new emails potentially relevant to the case, but did not take action to resume the email probe until he was formally briefed last week on what investigators had found.

Clinton, who seemed to have momentum in battleground state polls before Comey’s Friday bombshell, notably declined on Thursday to say whether, if elected, she would ask the FBI director to resign.

“I’m not going to, you know, either get ahead of myself by assuming I’ll be fortunate enough to be elected,” Clinton said, responding to a question from SiriusXM’s Joe Madison. “That’s really up to you and your listeners....I also would never comment on any kind of, you know, personnel issue.”

Comey was confirmed to a 10-year term in September 2013. While the law allows a president to remove an FBI director, the step is rarely taken out of respect for the independence of the position. President Bill Clinton removed Director William S. Sessions in 1993 amid allegations of ethical improprieties.

The pent-up frustration inside the FBI seemed to burst when Comey revealed in a brief letter to legislators that agents in an unrelated case had found emails potentially relevant to the Clinton email investigation.

The details, then and now, were scant. Officials familiar with the matter said the messages came from a computer seized in the investigation of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Agents said the messages were associated with Abedin and Clinton. 

Abedin has told people she has no idea how the messages got on the device.

Although investigators had discovered the emails in early October, software glitches prevented them from separating Abedin-related emails from the hundreds of thousands of messages recovered until Oct. 19 or 20, according to people familiar with the case....

If Clinton is elected, Comey might have to contend with one or more investigations involving a sitting president. If she is not, he might face criticism for upending her bid.

Anderson, the former FBI official, said Comey will have to work quickly to finish the restarted email review, then talk to leaders and visit field offices to ease the tensions in the bureau and help mend public perceptions of the FBI. Comey has repeatedly said in the past that is important to him."...








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