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 ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' 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 FeinsteinOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs 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 TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul 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 ReidDemocrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 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."