Reid: Comey may have violated federal law
© Greg Nash

FBI Director James Comey may have violated federal law when he told lawmakers that his office was pursuing new evidence related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTexas history curriculum to emphasize that slavery played 'central role' in Civil War Election Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor's race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority Texas education board approves restoring Hillary Clinton in history curriculum MORE's use of a private email server, Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidNevada New Members 2019 Meet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Cortez Masto poised to become DSCC chair MORE (D-Nev.) is charging.

"Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another."

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“I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act,” Reid wrote in a letter to Comey.

The Hatch Act prohibits government officials from using their positions to influence an election. 

“Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

Comey on Friday told lawmakers his agency plans to investigation additional emails that appear relevant to its investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information by using a private server while secretary of State. The new information the FBI is pursuing comes from an unrelated matter involving communications on a computer belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who is now separated from longtime Clinton aide Huma Abdein. 

"In tarring Secretary Clinton with thin innuendo, you overruled longstanding tradition and the explicit guidance of your own Department. You rushed to take this step eleven days before a presidential election, despite the fact that for all you know, the information you possess could be entirely duplicative of the information you already examined which exonerated Secretary Clinton," Reid continued. 

Democrats have blasted Comey for making the announcement less than two weeks before Election Day. 

“When Republicans filibustered your nomination and delayed your confirmation longer than any previous nominee to your position, I led the fight to get you confirmed because I believed you to be a principled public servant,” Reid wrote.

“With the deepest regret, I now see that I was wrong."

Republicans were quick to react, with Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonMcConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year Cotton opposes Trump-backed criminal justice bill Trump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform MORE (Ark.) slamming the retiring Nevada senator on Twitter. 

"Harry Reid is a disgrace to American politics, among worst men ever in Senate. He can't go soon enough, & many Democrats privately agree," Cotton wrote.