Sen. Bernie Sanders suggested FBI Director James Comey should resign over how he conducted the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
“He should take a hard look at what he has done. And I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down,” Sanders told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Sanders argued that Comey was wrong to publicize the new evidence about Clinton about a week before the general election in November, only to announce days later that it did not change the department’s previous decision not to charge the former secretary of state for mishandling classified information.
“Comey acted in an outrageous way during the campaign,” Sanders said. “No one can say that this was the decisive and this was what elected Trump, but clearly his behavior during the campaign in terms of what he said in the week or two before the election was unacceptable. And it is interesting that he is not doing investigations about the possible ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russians.”
Sanders comments came just days after the FBI’s independent internal watchdog, the Office of the Inspector General, announced it would review Comey’s actions and rule whether there was misconduct in the way the department handled Clinton’s email investigation.
After the election, Clinton herself partially blamed Comey for her loss to President-elect Donald Trump.
“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” Clinton said on a call with donors in November. She added: “Our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum.”
Indeed, on Thursday many of the former secretary of state’s top campaign staffers heralded the OIG’s move to examine Comey’s conduct.
“We need the FBI to be independent, to not have a reputation for behaving in a partisan manner, but I think that all of that was really called in the question in the way that the FBI handled this matter in the closing weeks of the campaign,” former Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon told MSNBC last week.