Federal Bureau of Investigation director unapologetic about revealing Hillary Clinton info

An unfazed Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey on Wednesday strongly defended his controversial decision to alert Congress just days before the United States general election about the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails, saying concealing the probe developments would have been "catastrophic".

"It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election", Comey said during a four hour hearing before the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

"It wasn't a ideal campaign, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Comey's letter and Russian WikiLeaks", the Democrat said of her loss to Mr Donald Trump.

He told the panel one reason for the FBI's renewed interest in Clinton's case was that investigators had found emails, some of them classified, forwarded by Clinton's assistant Huma Abedin to her husband, who was not authorized to see such information.

Mr Comey re-opened the investigation into Mrs Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state - months after declaring it completed - following the discovery of emails on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Wiener.

"The subject is classified", Comey said in response to Grassley's questions. Trump disagreed, tweeting that Comey actually "was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!"

More news: Melania Trump dedicates a healing garden for sick children

Lynch and Bill Clinton met privately in Phoenix in June 2016 after the two realized they were on the same tarmac, an aide to the former president told CNN at the time.

Comey also disclosed that he has been interviewed by the Justice Department's Inspector General Office, which is conducing its own investigation into how the FBI handled the Clinton email probe. And he said the FBI does not expect to have anything to say about the Russian Federation investigation until that one was over either.

Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Comey said he did not treat disclosures about investigations into Clinton's emails differently than potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

The Department of Justice has long avoided prosecuting "newsgathering and legitimate news reporting" as a criminal act, Comey said.

USA intelligence officials have blamed Russian intelligence services for interfering in the election through the hacking of Democratic email accounts.

Comey said on Wednesday the probe into whether Russian hacking activities and American citizens was a classified investigation in its early stages - far different from the nearly completed email probe. "Just push it out in order to damage". "And honestly, as between really bad and catastrophic, I said to my team we got to walk into the world of really bad". A man who says he doesn't want him or his agency to generate headlines in fact generated plenty of them when, in March, he confirmed to a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the FBI is investigating connections between the Russian government and Trump's campaign.

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