FBI Director Comey Defends Decision to Probe Clinton Emails in Run Up to U.S. Elections

While saying that possibility that probe impacted the outcome of the presidential election made him 'slightly nauseous,' not announcing it, Comey said, would amount to concealment

FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 3, 2017.
JIM WATSON/AFP

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to announce last year that the agency had reopened an investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails, saying not doing so would have been "an act of concealment."

Speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committe Wednesday, Comey said "To not speak about it would require an act of concealment." It was the FBI chief's most impassioned defense of his October 2016 decision to date. 

Comey said it made him "mildly nauseous" to think that the FBI may have had some impact on the U.S. presidential election, which took place only days after Comey revealed that the Clinton email probe had been reopened. 

Democrats have blamed Comey's handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and his late-October release of a letter about the case as among the reasons for her loss to Republican Donald Trump.