Politics

Comey Releases Staff-Wide Memo Defending Decision Not to Recommend Clinton Charges

FBI Director James Comey testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy" in Washington July 8
FBI Director James Comey testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy" in Washington July 8 / Reuters

FBI Director James Comey released a staff-wide memo Wednesday seeking to justify his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton after his investigation into her private email server, CNN reported:

In a memo to employees Wednesday, Comey said the decision to not recommend charges against the now-Democratic nominee wasn't a close call.

"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," he said in the memo.

Comey said in the beginning of his memo that he was prompted to write this due to the amount of attention his decision has caused:

Because it is generating a lot of interest, I thought I should update you on where we are with our commitment to transparency in the wake of the Clinton email investigation.

In the memo, Comey explained that he wrestled with the idea of waiting until after Labor Day Weekend to release the documents, but in the spirit of transparency, he released them as soon as they were ready.

The FBI has been criticized for doing so on the Friday before Labor Day:

"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," Comey said.

"We don't play games. So we released it Friday. We are continuing to process more material and will release batches of documents as they are ready, no matter the day of the week," Comey said.

He ended his memo by reiterating that this decision was not politically motivated.