Several House Democrats came out swinging against FBI Director James Comey, frustrated about his willingness to talk about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s misuse of a private email server while remaining relatively silent on any investigation into Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.
“I think there's been a profound question raised as to whether director Comey is dealing in an evenhanded manner with the investigation of the Clinton emails and any investigation that may or may not be happening with respect to the Trump campaign,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, gave a starker assessment of Comey.
“All I can tell you is the FBI Director has no credibility, that's it," Waters told reporters before storming away.
Comey and the heads of other intelligence agencies including James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, were meant to update members of Congress on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
But according to several members, Comey would not discuss whether the FBI is or will be investigating any ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, which the intelligence community says sought to influence the election at the behest of the country's president, Vladimir Putin.
“I am hopeful that the FBI, under Director Comey’s direction, is investigating whether or not there were or were not any connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians. He would not really respond to that today,” Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Florida, said.
Trump has said that he has "nothing to do with Russia."
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Schiff, the Intelligence Committee's vice chairman, also praised the Department of Justice Inspector General for beginning an investigation into the FBI and the DOJ’s actions leading up to the election, including Comey’s very public announcement of and updates on the Clinton email investigation.
“It is unprecedented but I think it is a very appropriate and important step,” he said.
FBI officials would not answer reporters' questions after the hearing.