- By Robbie GramerRobbie Gramer is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. He writes for The Cable, FP’s real-time take on all things, well, foreign policy. Before he joined FP in 2016, he used to think in a tank, managing the NATO portfolio at the Atlantic Council for three years. He’s a graduate of American University’s School of International Service, where he studied international relations and European affairs. He has lived in both Washington and Brussels, though he grew up in Idaho and Oregon, so he’s a West Coaster at heart. When he’s not busy reporting, he’s probably busy starting three new books before he has finished the last one or planning a trip to a national park he hasn’t visited yet., Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
President Barack Obama finally broke his silence on FBI Director James Comey’s controversial announcement to Congress that he is revisiting the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
In an interview with NowThis, an online news and media start-up, on Wednesday, Obama said, “I do think that there is a norm that when there are investigations, we don’t operate on innuendo, we don’t operate on incomplete information, we don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.” Obama added that he was “very deliberate” in making sure that it does not appear that he is meddling in what are meant to be independent investigations.
Comey notified Congress that the FBI was going to review new material that appeared to be pertinent to the investigation “to determine whether they contain classified information.” The FBI found thousands of emails on a laptop that Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin shared with her estranged husband and former congressman, Anthony Weiner, who is under FBI investigation for possibly sending sexual text messages to a minor.
In his letter to Congress on Oct. 28, Comey said: The “FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.” Comey’s letter on Clinton’s email investigation drew immediate criticism from Democrats and plenty of former officials from both parties in the Justice Department. On Oct. 29, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta called Comey’s letter “bewildering, short on facts—and unfair to voters.”
The whole issue of FBI investigations and the presidential race has since been muddied even further, after various news outlets reported that the bureau is investigating possible links between the campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump and Russia. The FBI has come under additional fire after it made public Tuesday information about past investigations on Trump’s father, Fred Trump, on Oct. 30 and on Bill Clinton’s time in the White House.
The FBI released these records on its records vault Twitter account, which until the release of Fred Trump’s file had been dormant for more than a year.
Obama’s comments come just two days after his press secretary, Josh Earnest, said the White House would not criticize Comey’s decision to continue looking into the curious case of Clinton’s emails.
“The president,” Earnest said, “doesn’t believe that [Comey is] secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party,” adding, “He’s in a tough spot.”
That spot seems to have just gotten a bit tougher.
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