Updated on May 3 at 1:49 p.m.
FBI Director James Comey has no regrets about the agency’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server just days before the presidential election.
“It was a hard choice, I still believe in retrospect the right choice, as painful as it’s been,” Comey told the Senate Judiciary committee, adding that the thought that he had affected the 2016 election made him “mildly nauseous.”
Comey was back on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to testify in what was billed as a routine congressional oversight hearing, but minutes into the hearing, the director was questioned about his letter on October 28 notifying lawmakers that more emails had been uncovered that were pertinent to the investigation into Clinton’s private email server that she maintained while secretary of state. Political analysts and Clinton herself have blamed Comey’s letter and subsequent news coverage of the event for her defeat in the 2016 presidential election. In March, Comey revealed for the first time that the Trump campaign had been under investigation related to its ties to the Russian government, since the summer of 2016.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s ranking member, introduced the matter in her opening remarks and proceeded to ask the director about his actions. Feinstein flatly asked Comey: “Why was it necessary to announce 11 days before a presidential election that you were opening an investigation on a new computer without any knowledge of what was in that computer? Why didn't you just do the investigation as you would normally with no public announcement?”