Federal Bureau of Investigation chief says he had to tell Congress of Clinton email news

But he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Federal Bureau of Investigation can not take into account how its actions might benefit or harm politicians.

FBI Director James Comey beat back questions about the continuing federal probe into Russian interference in the United States elections, as senators tried to pry any bit of information out of him Wednesday. "The president won 306 electoral votes and I think there's been plenty of analysis on the election and where people chose to spend their time and their resources and their messaging and I think it's somewhat sad that we're still debating why the president won in the fashion that he did".

Comey told Congress the FBI had found new emails they believed were relevant to a closed investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state under former President Barack Obama. "Concealing, in my view, would be catastrophic", he said.

Comey clearly labored over the decision to announce, in October, that he was looking again at Clinton's emails, saying the thought that he affected the outcome made him feel "mildly nauseous".

Though the announcement removed the threat of criminal prosecution, Democrats nonetheless criticized Comey for calling Clinton and her aides "extremely careless" in their handling of classified material, a characterization they said strayed from the FBI's just-the-facts protocol. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, right, and the committee's ranking member Sen.

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Comey said he got a bit sick to think the letter may have what led to Trump's victory, but he said he didn't have any other choice but to send it.

But Comey said that other than confirming the Clinton investigation existed, he did not discuss it until after it concluded previous year.

"To not speak about it would require an act of concealment in my view".

Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, asked Comey if he could explain what the FBI was investigating regarding former Trump adviser Roger Stone's contacts with Guccifer 2.0 - an online operator determined by U.S. intelligence to be Russian hackers.

The FBI began a counterintelligence investigation last July into whether Russian Federation had coordinated with Trump campaign associates to influence the American election, but he did not disclose that until a hearing in March, after Trump had been elected and taken office.

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When asked why Assange ― who is now living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London ― hasn't been charged with a crime, Comey said he didn't want to comment so as not to "confirm whether there are charges pending".

He also declined to say who was under investigation in the Russia-Trump associate investigation.

Graham then shifted to Weiner's computer, which the FBI linked to Hillary Clinton in 2016 during its widely publicized classified email investigation.

American journalists "almost always call us before they publish classified information" to check if disclosures could put lives at risk, he said.

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