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Comey Adviser Backs Obama's 'Innuendo' Slam on Emails

Comey Adviser Backs Obama's 'Innuendo' Slam on Emails

Barack Obama (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By    |   Wednesday, 02 November 2016 10:03 PM

President Barack Obama "was right about being careful about innuendo" in slamming James Comey's decision to disclose the investigation into new Hillary Clinton emails without being more specific, a longtime adviser to the FBI director said Wednesday.

"You generally do complete investigations and speak only after them," Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor and longtime friend and adviser to Comey, told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "The only complication here is that the director did announce the completion.

"It turned out that the investigation had to be continued because of new emails."

"I have to say that the president was right about being careful about innuendo," Richman added. "The fact that some new emails have been uncovered, which the bureau has not . . . looked at, means that there are some new emails to look at.

"Nothing more," he said.

President Obama attacked Comey for not going beyond telling Congress last week his agency had found new Clinton emails and they were "pertinent" to the FBI's probe of her private server use.

He said the inquiry should not inject "innuendo" into the Nov. 8 election. Comey's announcement Friday came 11 days before Election Day.

"I do think that there is a norm that, when there are investigations, we don't operate on innuendo — and we don't operate on incomplete information and we don't operate on leaks," Obama told a radio station. "We operate based on concrete decisions that are made."

Comey said in July he was not recommending criminal charges against Clinton or her aides in the email probe — and Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepted the findings two days later, effectively ending the inquiry.

However, Richman told CNN that Comey could not be more specific last week because he did not know the content of the newly discovered documents.

"The director didn't know when he made the statement," he said. "It doesn't appear that he's in a position to be clear about it now.

"But to jump to conclusions that this says anything different from what's already been seen seems strange," he added. "So, I think the president is right to sort of dial this back."

The timing of the discovery also placed Comey in a tough position, regardless of what he did, Richman said.

"There is nothing he could have done, once he heard about the emails, that would not have had political ramifications.

"To stay silent is to let people assume that the investigation was closed, because he had said it was completed," he added. "It turns out there is reason to go forward.

"To speak is to run the risk, as we are seeing now, of people saying he's interfering.

"No matter, there is a political valence to it.

"The only question are we going to be aware of it or not?" Richman told Cooper. "I think he opted for transparency."

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President Barack Obama "was right about being careful about innuendo" in slamming James Comey's decision to disclose the investigation into new Hillary Clinton emails without being more specific, a longtime adviser to the FBI director said Wednesday.
innuendo, Comey, adviser, emails, Obama
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2016-03-02
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 10:03 PM
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