WASHINGTON (AP) FBI Director James Comey told Congress Wednesday that revealing the reopening of the Hillary Clinton email probe just before Election Day came down to a painful, complicated choice between "really bad" and "catastrophic" options.
The decision, and the fact that it may have influenced the presidential election, weighs on Comey to this day, he said. "If he wants to tweet about me then I am happy to be the diversion because we have a lot of things to worry about".
Speaking at times with a raised voice, Comey said he faced two hard decisions when agents told him they found emails potentially connected to the Clinton case on a laptop belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who was married to close Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
In a hearing at the Senate judiciary committee that was dominated by questions on the FBI's involvement in the campaign, Mr Comey said classified emails had been forwarded by Mrs Clinton while she was secretary of state to Mr Weiner, the husband of Clinton's senior aide Huma Abedin. Not doing so amounted to "concealment", which he said would have been "catastrophic". "If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president", she said, while also putting responsibility for her loss on her own actions.
Under questioning from the ranking Democrat, California Sen. But Comey said he would not tell her what he was planning to say.
He mentioned the press conference and his subsequent testimony under oath that the investigation was complete as reasons he had to go public when he knew that emails possibly relevant to the investigation were found on former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's computer.
Comey also disclosed that he has been interviewed by the Justice Department's Inspector General Office, which is conducing its own investigation into how the FBI handled the Clinton email probe.
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Comey said he could "speak" or "conceal".
Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Comey said he did not treat disclosures about investigations into Clinton's emails differently than potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
The director also repeated his confirmation that the bureau was investigating possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Wednesday's public hearing marked the second time Trump knocked his own Federal Bureau of Investigation director around the time of his public hearing.
US intelligence officials have blamed Russian intelligence services for interfering in the election through the hacking of Democratic email accounts.
At a forum in NY on Tuesday, Clinton said Comey's letter to Congress on October 28 was a factor in her loss to President Trump. I don't think many reasonable people would do it differently than I did, no matter what they say today.
This story has corrected the Comey quote about feeling nauseous from "slightly" to "mildly".
Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.