House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) criticized FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday for what she characterized as his bending to political pressure from Republicans by announcing in a vague letter the discovery of emails potentially related to an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“I think he made a mistake on this and he clearly has a double standard when it comes to Donald Trump,” Pelosi told CNN in an interview.
She compared Comey’s disclosure of the discovery of the emails, which he said in the letter may not even be pertinent to the investigation, to the claim made by numerous U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian-backed hackers were behind the theft of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee, and others.
“I know it privately, because of being hacked by the Russians, and he says, ‘Well, it’s too close to the election to talk about that,’ and yet it’s not too close to the election to talk about the emails that he says may not be significant,” Pelosi said.
Reports from CNBC and the Huffington Post on Monday indicated that while Comey agreed with a letter eventually signed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that placed blame on Russia-backed hackers for the email theft, he did not sign the FBI onto the letter out of concern for politicizing the election.
“I think he made a mistake and in these jobs, if you’re not in it for a while, you can’t take the heat,” Pelosi told CNN. “And I think he just couldn’t take the heat from the Republicans.”
Pelosi also said she was “not going” to have a conversation about whether Comey should resign, at least with Election Day approaching.
“I think that we have to just get through this election, and just see what the casualties are along the way,” she said.
When Comey sent his letter Friday to various members of House Republican leadership, Pelosi criticized Republicans for politicizing the investigation and Comey for not providing enough information in the update.
“The Director of the FBI himself stated that, ‘The FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant,'” she said in a statement the same day. “Furthermore, there is not any indication that this review involves Secretary Clinton’s own use of emails. The public interest would be served by the FBI providing the facts, rather than allowing Republicans to stoke innuendo and falsehoods 11 days away from a presidential election.”