The FBI on Monday released copies of a statement former Director James Comey drafted in July 2016 recommending that Clinton be exonerated in the probe of her emails as secretary of state. The date of the letter confirms it was drafted days before the investigation closed, and about two months before Comey issued his formal recommendation. It also reveals Comey had already made his decision before interviewing Clinton aides.
Some Republican members of Congress accused Comey of prematurely drawing a conclusion, before gathering all the facts.
Trump on Wednesday agreed wholeheartedly, and called on the Justice Department to investigate.
“As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton,” the president tweeted. “He was the best thing that ever happened to her!”
Trump also falsely claimed Comey reached his decision before the FBI interviewed Clinton.
Wow, FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete. Many..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
...people not interviewed, including Clinton herself. Comey stated under oath that he didn't do this-obviously a fix? Where is Justice Dept?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
Trump fired Comey in May, as the FBI director was leading an investigation into whether the president’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
Clinton, meanwhile, has blamed her election loss on Comey. He briefly reopened the email investigation after finding more emails in October, just days before the election.
“This was not necessary,” Clinton said this year. “He could’ve called me up, he could’ve called others involved up and said, ‘Hey, can we look at this new stuff just to make sure it’s stuff we had before?’”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.