Transcript for James Comey on whether Hillary Clinton received justice
I worked at the Justice Department has an AUS sane and DC and the policy was and I believe it's still is is that you cannot comment. On an ongoing investigation. And that is because it compromises the integrity of the investigation. And while. I've always been in such a fan of yours quite frankly. I was surprised that you've commented. On the reopening. Of Clinton's investigation because really that is against everything that I learned and that I believed in when I was. At the Justice Department I don't understand what he often did and you closed Daniel opened it and you house. They you get a say suffer from premature interpretation he. You've commented I'm glad that have. No doubt you've commented on on this investigation and I'm still confused by that. Yet and as our a lot of thoughtful people. You're exactly right the Justice Department's policy news we don't comment on investigations. Except. Except if there's an overriding public interest we need to reassure the public where there's law enforcement activity that would otherwise be evident that we need to explain. Billy Clinton investigation opened in the middle of 2015. We didn't comment on it for three months even though it had begun with a public referral whole world we knew we were doing and we applied that same policy we decided Loretta lynch decided. There was an appropriate until the beginning of October so that's the rule. We announced the closure of it the problem we faced in. The nightmare we faced in late October was we've told the American people. Something that is no longer true. That justifies. An exception to the normal role because if we don't tell them we don't choose between speak and conceal if we just put the pillow over head and go back to sleep. We will have defrauded the American people that's how I thought about it so you're actually right extraordinary exception I believe it's a 500 year flood. I pray no future leader of the department justice has to deal with it but that's what we face. But director Ben why not tell the American people that the that there was an investigation. Going on with Russia. About the very bedrock of our democracy that the Russians work where colluding perhaps. If you're gonna comment on one investigation why would you not comment on mother's you're gonna break that cool night. Why not break it when it's probably more important. In another great question I actually think are handling of the two illustrates. Our adherence to the rule. They're two things were going on in the summer of 2016. One was in late July we opened counterintelligence investigations on a very small group of Americans not Donald Trump. Trying to understand is there some connection. Between these people and the other thing that's going on in the summer sixteen which is a huge Russian effort to mess with our Election Day. Talking about those two things. We actually focused on should what should we say about that is the entire Russian effort action was no serious discussion about disclosing. A counterintelligence investigation had just started him because we do know whether we had a new thing. We do a tip off these Americans we're looking at them and what would we say we just started looking into may be something there and doesn't at all Donald Trump but. And so we couldn't see in fact it was so obvious there was with an exception we didn't debate it. What we debated what President Obama struggled with his should we tell the American people about the other thing. The big Russian effort yes and I thought we should and offered in August to be the person who did it and -- I wrote a draft op Ed for major newspaper saying the Russians are coming for our election. America needs to know about it. And they didn't take me up on the offer they deliberated I know why President Obama struggled because if you do it have you accomplished the Russian's goal. They want to undermine confidence in our election. So the president of the United States says the Russians are messing with us. Did they just undermine confidence in our election so I know why this was so our children.
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