White House: FBI Director Wasn't Trying to Meddle in Election

FBI Director Comey has faced withering criticism for publicly announcing probe into Clinton emails
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2016 4:11 PM CDT
White House: FBI Director Wasn't Trying to Meddle in Election
FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

President Barack Obama declined to join in his party's criticism of FBI Director James Comey on Monday, The Hill reports. Director Comey has faced a barrage of attacks from Democrats, some of whom accuse him of trying to meddle in the election by announcing a probe into newly uncovered Hillary Clinton emails just days before the presidential election. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid even went as far as accusing Comey of violating a federal law that prohibits government officials from using their position to impact an election, the Wall Street Journal reports. But Obama doesn't believe anything nefarious is going on, per White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who told reporters Comey is "a man of integrity [and] good character," and that "the president doesn’t believe he’s secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party."

Meanwhile, Politico looks at whether the latest email revelations could push swing states toward Trump. One expert notes, "I would not think this news is enough to push them [to one candidate] for good." And in more potentially good news for the Clinton campaign, the New York Times reports some 21 million people have already submitted their votes via mail-in ballots or early voting, meaning their votes won't be affected by any late-breaking scandals. Over at the Trump campaign, the Washington Post reports that Trump praised Comey's move Monday, saying Comey had "brought back his reputation" by being transparent about the new information. (More Election 2016 stories.)

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