FBI Director James Comey spoke with reporters at FBI Headquarters Wednesday, telling them he has not tethered his investigation of Clinton’s private email server to any outside events. Comey also took issue with the phrase being used by the Clinton camp to downplay the significance of the FBI investigation. Politico reports:
“We want to do it well and we want to do it promptly. I feel pressure to do both of those things,” Comey told reporters during a roundtable at FBI headquarters. “As between the two things, we will always choose ‘well.'”
Comey indicated he’s not taking into account political events, including the upcoming conventions or the fall election.
“I don’t tether to any external deadline,” the FBI chief said.
This echoes almost exactly what Comey said a month ago at a speech in Buffalo, NY. Asked by reporters for WIVB if he felt pressure to complete the investigation, Comey said “We feel a great sense of urgency to do it well and to do it promptly.” He added, “But if we have to choose between the two, well, obviously comes first.”
Comey did not reveal any details about the status of the investigation but did take issue with a phrase the Clinton camp has used to downplay it publicly. From Politico:
In response to a question Wednesday, Comey said he wasn’t familiar with the term “security inquiry” that Clinton and her aides have used. The FBI chief said he considers the work agents are doing to be an “investigation.”
“It’s in our name. I’m not familiar with the term ‘security inquiry’,'” the director said.
Comey balked at labeling it a criminal probe, though that is the potential end point of any FBI investigation.
At least two reports in the last two weeks have stated that the investigation has found no evidence of wrongdoing that would lead to charges against Clinton. Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal was on CNN Wednesday morning saying he was “very confident” Clinton would not face charges, though he did not explain how he knew.