Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has accused the bureau of hiding “explosive” information about Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia, which he believes might inflict “critical” damage ahead of the election. The allegation comes after FBI Director James Comey announced on Friday that a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server had been reopened, sending a letter notifying Congress of the email review.
In it Comey revealed the finding of some 650,000 emails which were discovered by the agency in early October on a laptop belonging to ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner and apparently also used by his wife, Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin.
The unexpected announcement came just 11 days before Americans head to the polls to determine the winner in the race for the White House between Democrat Clinton and Republican Trump.
Concerned by the FBI’s move to re-open the investigation that was closed in July, Reid sent a letter to Comey accusing him of double standards and potentially breaking the law.
“Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another,” Reid wrote on Sunday.
He added that through Comey’s “partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” namely the Hatch Act, which bars the use of an executive branch position to influence an election.
Furthermore, Reid accused the FBI chief of using a “highly selective approach” in publicizing information, and claimed that the timing of the announcement so close to election date was “intended for the success or failure of a partisan candidate or political group.”
While the alleged ties of the Republican candidate with Russia have long been touted by the Clinton camp as one of Trump’s greatest sins, no proof of such a relationship has ever been made public. Reid however once again claimed it was “clear” to him that a relation exists between Trump and the Russian government, and that Comey is hiding it.
“In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” Reid stated.