Bernie Sanders has suggested FBI director James Comey should step down from his post over his conduct during the presidential election campaign, saying his resignation “would not be a bad thing for the American people”.
The Vermont Senator described the way Mr Comey conducted the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as “outrageous” and "unacceptable". The FBI boss wrote a letter reigniting the controversy just 11 days before the presidential election – a move Ms Clinton and many of her supporters blame for her election loss.
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Mr Sanders said: “I think that Comey acted in an outrageous way during the campaign.
”No one can say that this was decisive, or this is what elected Trump, but clearly his behaviour during the campaign in terms of what he said during the week or two before the election was unacceptable.
“And it is interesting that he is not doing investigations about the possible ties between Trump's campaign and the Russians.”
When then asked whether he thought Mr Comey should step down, Mr Sanders responded: “I think he should take a hard look at what he has done and I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down.”
The American politician's comments come days after the Justice Department announced it would review allegations that Mr Comey mishandled the email investigation, after members of Congress complained actions taken by the FBI and Justice Department were politically motivated.
The Justice Department watchdog will look specifically into whether Mr Comey's press conference and notifications to Congress about the investigation before the election were appropriate under the department's guidelines.
Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign’s former press secretary and former Justice Department spokesman, told the New York Times the probe was necessary to restore the reputation of the FBI.
“This is highly encouraging and to be expected, given Director Comey’s drastic deviation from Justice Department protocol,” he told the paper.
“A probe of this sort, however long it takes to conduct, is utterly necessary in order to take the first step to restore the FBI’s reputation as a nonpartisan institution.”
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