World Bulletin / News Desk
FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday adamantly defended his decision to disclose a sensitive investigation into presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in the waning days of last year's bitterly contested election.
“Concealing in my view would have been catastrophic," he told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, maintaining that his decision to inform Congress just days before the polls was correct.
The comments come one day after Clinton blamed Comey, in part, for her Nov. 8 defeat during a moderated discussion in New York.
"I was on the way to winning until a combination of James Comey's letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off," said Clinton.
Comey said while he feels "mildly nauseas" at the prospect that his actions could have influenced the election results, he stands by the decision.
"One of my junior lawyers said 'should you consider that what you're about to do may help elect Donald Trump?'" Comey said describing his decision-making process. "And I said, 'Thank you for raising that. Not for a moment, because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent institution in America. I can't consider for a second whose political fortunes will be affected in what way.'"
He further maintained that he handled disclosures regarding the bureau's investigations into Clinton, and the Trump campaign's potential links to Russia, equally.
He said the intelligence community has "high confidence" Russia was behind a series of hacks into the Democratic National Committee that brought to light damning details of its internal workings, adding that Russia is "the greatest threat of any nation on earth given their intention and their capability".
"We have high confidence that the Russians did the hacking of the DNC and other organizations," he said.