Wednesday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said while she still has confidence in FBI Director James Comey, his explanation of why he announced a new investigation into then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton days before the election was “baloney.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: Let me start straightforward. Did Director Comey convince you that he made the right decision?
FEINSTEIN: No. As a matter of fact, it went strongly the other way. I went back to the office. I read the policy of the FBI with regard to announcing things shortly before an election. This was 11 days before. He didn’t get a search warrant to see what was in the Weiner computer, but I guess he made an assumption that they were all new emails. In fact, none of them were new emails. There were 3,000. Twelve were classified and they were duplicates of everything that he had before. So he announces he is reopening the hearing. There is new information, which implies that there’s new evidence. Well, there really wasn’t. And guess what happened?
TODD: What’s the recourse?
FEINSTEIN: There is no recourse. The election took place. Secretary Clinton lost. And I just can’t believe what happened. And for some reason, he felt terribly torn that he couldn’t hold this information for 11 days. He couldn’t go and get a warrant, a search warrant, find out what was in that computer. And there was nothing that was new.
TODD: What do you make of his straw man argument? And I’ve heard this, from people close to him. The straw man argument is this senator if he withholds it, she wins the election, it comes out that they had, that they got a tip on this, they were searching an extra computer, there was classified information shared with Weiner, all of a sudden you would have all sorts of Capitol Hill haywire, at least on the Republican side, and all sorts of hearings, hamstringing the new president. What do you do? What do you say to that argument?
FEINSTEIN: Well, that argument in my view is baloney. If you have a doubt, and there was a reason to have many doubts, you would get a search warrant. And you would. You say let’s see what we have before we go out and indict, and if they looked at what they had, they would have to say, well, there’s nothing new. We looked at all of this before. Ergo, there is no case. And then two days before the election, he came back and essentially said that. But it was too late then. And I — it is very hard for me to believe that he felt so sanctimonious about coming forward. Let me just say this was a historic election. This was the first woman. She was very qualified, eight years a United States senator, first lady, secretary of state, did a good job, prepared herself, went out. She won the popular vote by three million votes. She lost the electoral vote narrowly and everybody that knows her and I think her pollsters among them, believe this played a role.
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