F.B.I. Director James Comey has been embroiled in political controversy for over a year, since he first cleared Hillary Clinton of all wrongdoing in his statement on whether or not he’d recommend indictment for illegal private server usage as Secretary of State.
When Comey announced he was re-opening the F.B.I. investigation just a week out from the November election, after obtaining evidence via Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Democrats were quick to respond with fury against the agency chief.
Hillary Clinton, after her election defeat, blamed Comey for the staggering loss. She said, according to The New York Times:
In her most extensive remarks since she conceded the race to Donald J. Trump early Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton told donors on a 30-minute conference call that Mr. Comey’s decision to send a letter to Congress about the inquiry 11 days before Election Day had thrust the controversy back into the news and had prevented her from ending the campaign with an optimistic closing argument.
“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” Mrs. Clinton said, according to a donor who relayed the remarks. But, she added, “our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum.”
Former president Bill Clinton also blamed Comey for the election defeat. The New York Post reported:
“I was never prouder to cast a vote. I watched her work for two years. I watched her battle that bogus email deal . .. .She prevailed against it all,” the former president during a brief press gaggle in the well of the state Senate chamber.
“Then in the end we had the Russians and the FBI deal. She couldn’t prevail against that. She did everything else and still won by 2.8 million votes,” he added.
In the midst of this controversy, and with Bill Clinton’s private plane interlocutor Loretta Lynch out of the picture, enter James Comey, with a tidbit of news that is sure to kick the hornet’s nest.
As reported by ABC News:
FBI Director James Comey has told top FBI officials that President Trump asked him to stay on as head of the bureau. Comey told the officials on a conference call in recent days.
Asked about the report today by ABC News, Trump had no comment. The White House has not responded to ABC News’ inquiries about the news.
The New York Times also reported on the intriguing political development:
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told his top agents from around the country that he had been asked by President Trump to stay on the job running the federal government’s top law enforcement agency, according to people familiar with the matter.
A decision to retain Mr. Comey would spare the president another potentially bruising confirmation battle. It also would keep Mr. Comey at the center of the F.B.I.’s investigation into several Trump associates and their potential ties with the Russian government.