Feinstein: FBI director's 'appalling' letter plays into Trump's hands
© Greg Nash

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee blasted FBI Director James Comey on Friday for his letter to Congress about newly discovered emails related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition Van Jones: A 'white, liberal Hillary Clinton supporter' can pose a greater threat to black Americans than the KKK Taylor Swift slams Trump tweet: 'You have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?' MORE's server, calling the move "appalling." 

In his letter, Comey said emails apparently "pertinent" to its Clinton investigation had been discovered in an unrelated probe and were being reviewed. He did not elaborate.

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“Without knowing how many emails are involved, who wrote them, when they were written or their subject matter, it’s impossible to make any informed judgment on this development,” Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGraham announces hearing on police use of force after George Floyd killing Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement. 

“However, one thing is clear: Director Comey’s announcement played right into the political campaign of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE, who is already using the letter for political purposes. And all of this just 11 days before the election.”

A number of Republicans, including Trump, have seized on early reports that said the FBI was “reopening” its investigation.

The FBI, however, had not formally closed its investigation into Clinton's server, though Comey in July said he was not recommending any criminal charges in the case.

Feinstein said she was “shocked” that Comey would send a letter that left so many questions unanswered, given the impact it could have on the presidential race.

“It’s too bad Director Comey didn’t take those gaping holes into consideration when he decided to send this letter,” she said in the statement. “The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidCortez Masto says she's not interested in being Biden VP Nevada congressman admits to affair after relationship divulged on podcast Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil MORE (Nev.) called for the FBI to release more information.

"There has always been more froth than fact on this issue. Despite the rampant, baseless speculation triggered by Director Comey's letter, reports suggest that the FBI is not looking at emails from Secretary Clinton, nor are they looking at emails sent from her private server," Reid said in a statement.

"Now, as always, the public would benefit from more information. Specifically, the public deserves more transparency from the FBI. Director Comey has a responsibility to the public to provide more information than a three-paragraph letter so that the public can base their opinions on facts, not speculation."