Holder, ex-DOJ officials question Comey’s ‘breach of protocol’
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE’s campaign sent out a letter Sunday night signed by nearly 100 former prosecutors and Department of Justice officials slamming FBI Director James Comey. 

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The letter comes in the wake of the Friday announcement that the FBI is examining newly discovered emails that “appear to be pertinent” to an earlier investigation of the Democratic presidential nominee.

Comey wrote a letter to members of Congress announcing the decision, prompting criticism from Democrats — and former high-ranking Justice officials, including ex-Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFBI director defends agency after Trump attacks: It's an 'honor to represent you' FBI agents fire back at Trump: Saying we're not dedicated is 'simply false' Holder hits back at Trump: The FBI’s reputation is not in 'tatters' MORE.  

“Justice Department officials are instructed to refrain from commenting publicly on the existence, let alone the substance, of pending investigative matters, except in exceptional circumstances and with explicit approval from the Department of Justice officials responsible for ultimate supervision of the matter,” the letter says. 

“They are also instructed to exercise heightened restraint near the time of a primary or general election because, as official guidance from the Department instructs, public comment on a pending investigative matter may affect the electoral process and create the appearance of political interference in the fair administration of justice.”

Democrats are furious about what they see as political meddling on the part of the bureau and its director so close to Election Day. 

“Many of us have worked with Director Comey; all of us respect him. But his unprecedented decision to publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just eleven days before a presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed,” the letter continues. 

“We cannot recall a prior instance where a senior Justice Department official—Republican or Democrat—has, on the eve of a major election, issued a public statement where the mere disclosure of information may impact the election’s outcome, yet the official acknowledges the information to be examined may not be significant or new.”

Some Democrats have cautioned that the emails, apparently found on a laptop once shared by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), could be duplicates of messages already examined by the FBI. 

But with nearly 650,000 emails to sift through, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, many experts believe it unlikely that the FBI make further comment on the matter before Election Day. 

“We do not question Director Comey’s motives. However, the fact remains that the Director’s disclosure has invited considerable, uninformed public speculation about the significance of newly-discovered material just days before a national election,” the letter says.  

It concludes by calling for the release of “information that provides a full and complete picture regarding the material at issue.”