On a Sunday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, former FBI Director James Comey shed light on his fateful decision to publicly discuss details of the Clinton Email Investigation just 11 days before the 2016 Presidential Election.
When asked by Stephanopoulos why he reopened the investigation, despite knowing that it could influence the elections; Comey recalled how he answered a similar question from a close aide.
“I would…In fact, that was a question asked by one of my best people – a deputy general counsel in the FBI who is a very thoughtful and quiet person, who didn’t speak a lot. And that – that morning we were making that decision, she asked, ‘Should you consider that what you’re about do to may help elect Donald Trump president?”
“That’s a great question. But the answer is not for a moment because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent force in American life. If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done. We’re no longer that group in America that is apart from the partisans, and that can be trusted. We’re just another player in the — in the tribal battle.”
“That people will read that story and try to put themselves in my shoes. Try to realize that I’m not trying to help a candidate or hurt a candidate; I’m trying to do the right thing.”
Comey also said that when he reopened the probe into Clinton’s private server emails, he felt “totally alone” and knew that “everybody hated me.”
“It was a very painful period. Again, my whole life has been dedicated to institutions that work not to have an involvement in an election. I walked around vaguely sick to my stomach, feeling beaten down,” said Comey.
“I felt like I was totally alone, that everybody hated me,” revealed the former FBI Director. “And that there wasn’t a way out because it really was the right thing to do.”
What made things more awkward for him was that Comey’s wife and children were staunch supporters of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential elections. They even participated in the ‘Women’s March’ that took place to protest the lawful election of Donald Trump.
“I didn’t take a poll among all the kids, but I’m pretty sure that at least my four daughters, probably all five of my kids, wanted Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president,” said Comey in the interview.
“There was a lot of passion in this house for Hillary Clinton. And I– I get that,” added Comey. “But again, I hope it illustrates to people that I really wasn’t making decisions based on political fortunes.” Comey tried to further clarify that he had no intention of influencing the elections or of aiding Trump’s victory, in fact, he claimed to have no political agenda whatsoever.
“At some level, wasn’t the decision to reveal influenced by your assumption that Hillary Clinton was going to win and your concern that she wins this comes out several weeks later and then that’s taken by her opponents as a sign that she’s an illegitimate president?” inquired Stephanopoulos from Comey, digging deeper into the issue for further clarity.
“I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump, and so I’m sure that it was a factor,” he said. “I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been, that she’s going to be elected president and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out.”