WASHINGTON – Republicans in Washington aren’t letting up on their criticism of Hillary Clinton following the FBI’s recommendation that she shouldn’t face criminal charges over her handling of classified emails. Instead, they’re expanding their criticism to include the FBI itself.
On Tuesday FBI Director James Comey announced that “no charges are appropriate” against the presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee, drawing a deluge of GOP criticism. While Comey said that charges would be filed, he also called Clinton “extremely careless” in her handling of highly sensitive information, and suggested she sent emails with information that was classified at the time, contrary to her previous claims.
The FBI is supposed to be insulated from partisanship, with directors appointed to serve 10-year terms under legislation passed in 1976. Comey is a Republican first nominated to a senior Justice Department post by George W. Bush, and tapped to lead the FBI in 2013 by President Obama.
In response to the announcement, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump complained that the system is “rigged,” and that “it was no accident that charges were not recommended against Hillary the exact same day as President Obama campaigns with her for the first time.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said Comey’s recommendation to the Justice Department that Clinton should not face prosecution “defies explanation” and promised House hearings on the FBI investigation.
Chautauqua County’s representative in Washington, Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) – was also critical of the FBI decision not to file charges. In a conference call with local media on Tuesday afternoon, Reed says that he has grave concerns about the recommendations not to press charges, saying it’s an indication that the Washington DC establishment continues to receive preferential treatment.
“The message is clear. Hillary Clinton is part of the Washington, DC political establishment, an elite protected class that is above the law,” Reed said. “This double standard is unacceptable and unfair to the American people. We care about the American people, which is why we will continue to fight for changes within Washington, DC and are calling on the Department of Justice to bring charges against Hillary Clinton to ensure consequences for her dangerous behavior.”