- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2016

FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended the decision to release documents related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation just hours before the start of the long Labor Day weekend, saying in an internal memo that the timing was incidental.

The material released Friday — a summary and notes related to the email investigation — were made public as the soon as the information was ready, Mr. Comey said.

“I almost ordered the material held until Tuesday because I knew we would take all kinds of grief for releasing it before a holiday weekend, but my judgment was that we had promised transparency and it would be game-playing to withhold it from the public just to avoid folks saying stuff about us,” Mr. Comey said in the memo, which was first obtained by CNN. “We don’t play games. So we released it Friday.”

It was on July 5, coincidently the day after the July 4 holiday weekend, that Mr. Comey announced he would not recommend bringing criminal charges against the Democratic presidential candidate for her handling of classified information through a private email server.

He defended the decision not to recommend charges in the memo, saying that it was harder to decide how much information to share about the final decision than it was to arrive at that determination.



“At the end of the day, the case itself was not a cliff-hanger; despite all the chest-beating by people no longer in government, there really wasn’t a prosecutable case,” Mr. Comey said.

The FBI’s yearlong investigation concluded that Mrs. Clinton was was “extremely careless” in handling top-secret information and enemy hackers had the potential to have breached her email server, however Mr. Comey previously said he doubted a criminal case could be made against her.

Among the revelations from Friday’s document release, Mrs. Clinton relied on her staff to filter out secret information before it was sent to her unclassified email account and was unaware of how the classification level of a document was determined.

Some, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, were critical of the Friday news release.

“It’s like the most buried time you could put out stories. I’m surprised. I mean, I can’t believe they would do what is such a patently political move,” Mr. Ryan said in an interview with Wisconsin radio station WRJN. “It makes them look like political operators versus law enforcement officers.”

Mr. Comey said in the memo he is scheduled to testify again before the House Judiciary Committee later this month and expects to answer more questions about the email investigation then.

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