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In her new book chronicling the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton said she “immediately knew it was bad” when she and top aide Huma Abedin were told on the morning of October 28 that there was news about then-FBI Director James Comey.
“Things had been going too well for too long,” Clinton wrote in “What Happened.” “We were due for trouble.”
Upon first reading Comey’s October letter notifying Congress that the FBI was reopening its investigation into the private email server she used as secretary of state, Clinton said she thought it was “a bad joke.”
Comey had closed the investigation on July 5, 2016, but reopened it after the FBI found relevant emails on a computer belonging to Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.
“This man is going to be the death of me,” Abedin said of Weiner upon hearing the news, according to the book.
Comey’s decision to inform Congress of the revived investigation, which was ultimately closed two days before the election, was widely condemned for breaching FBI protocol, which prevents prosecutors from commenting on investigations before charges are brought.
“The FBI wasn’t the Federal Bureau of Ifs or Innuendoes. Its job was to find out the facts,” she wrote. “What the hell was Comey doing?”
Clinton said she recognizes that re-examining the ways she believes she was wronged by Comey during the election won’t change things.
“It wasn’t healthy or productive to dwell on the ways I felt I’d been shivved,” she wrote.
But she added that it was “incredible to see Comey go from villain to martyr in five seconds flat” after he was fired by Trump in May, ostensibly for his mishandling of the investigation into Clinton’s emails that Trump had once praised him for.
“I read Rosenstein’s memo in disbelief,” Clinton said of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation to Trump to fire Comey. “Here was Trump’s number two man at the Justice Department putting in writing all the things I’d been thinking for months … It was as if, after more than two years of mass hysteria, the world had finally come to its senses. But the story quickly fell apart.”