In four hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey delivered his most impassioned defense yet of a decision that many Democrats believe cost them the White House: telling Congress 11 days before the November 8 election that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had uncovered a new trove of Clinton-related emails.
FBI director James Comey on Wednesday said the idea that his agency may have swayed the 2016 presidential election makes him "mildly nauseous" - but defended his decision to publicly announce the re-opening of an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails 11 days before voters went to the polls.
Speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill, Comey said he struggled with the initial choice and felt dismayed if his actions had any effect on the outcome of the race. Comey said that to his mind, "it crosses a line when it moves from being about trying to educate a public and instead just becomes about intelligence porn, frankly, just pushing out information about sources and methods without regard to interests".
Comey said he alerted Congress of the finding, with the full expectation that lawmakers would leak that discovery. The disclosure elicited further criticism from Democrats during the hearing, who questioned why Mr Comey had not confirmed the existence of the investigation earlier. "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.
He went on, "Concealing in my view would be catastrophic, not just to the Federal Bureau of Investigation but well beyond".
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Spicer hit back at the failed Democratic nominee's claim a day earlier that she would have won the election if it were held on October 27, using an an extended football analogy during his daily briefing to remind her to look at the scoreboard. But there was nothing found that changed the FBI's decision not to recommend charges.
Comey is set to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday for a second round of testimony, this time behind closed doors - after weeks of wrangling that nearly knocked the House Russia investigation off-track. "And I tried to be as complete and fair" as possible, Comey said. But that second Comey hearing was also delayed amid squabbling between Nunes and Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's ranking Democrat.
Spicer responded that President Trump "has confidence" in the Director Comey.
"I sat there that morning and I could not see a door labeled no action here", Comey told the committee. Comey explained that it wasn't until months later that investigators discovered more of her emails in a separate investigation into the husband of one of her aides, Huma Abedin.
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