FBI chief James Comey, who has at times come under fire from Republicans and Democrats, is getting some support from Sen. John McCain.
According to Politico, the veteran GOP lawmaker from Arizona praised the director in Time’s newly released “100 Most Influential People” edition. “Integrity is a word that doesn’t get used a lot in Washington anymore, but that is the quality that has defined James Comey’s service to our nation,” McCain told the magazine. “Shifting political winds have blown criticism James Comey’s way from different partisan directions, but his independence has never faltered. His integrity has never wavered. And I know that in the pursuit of justice, it never will. … (He has) followed the law, spoke the truth and did what he believed was right.”
Officials in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, along with many other Democrats, have accused Comey of helping Donald Trump win the election. Last summer, the director told a congressional committee that Clinton’s handling of classified government information as secretary of state was “extremely careless.” While Comey did not recommend that the Justice Department file charges against Clinton, his critical public remarks kept the candidate’s email controversy alive.
Just 11 days before the November election, Comey announced that the FBI was reopening its investigation because agents had found Clinton-related emails on computer devices used by her long-time aide, Huma Abedin. The bureau was looking at the devices because of Abedin’s husband, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, allegedly used them to text sexually explicit pictures of himself. A couple of days before voters went to the polls, Comey acknowledged that the newly discovered emails did not suggest Clinton had committed any crimes.
Republicans have not been pleased with Comey because of his suggestion that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russian government to influence the U.S. election. In December, the FBI and other intelligence agencies charged Russian leader Vladimir Putin with ordering last year’s cyberattacks on Democratic National Committee officials and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
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