Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid came out guns blazing against FBI chief James Comey on Sunday, saying he should be ousted for covering up information regarding Russia’s efforts to meddle with the U.S. elections. Reid went as far as to call Comey the “new J. Edgar Hoover,” saying he had the information of Russian involvement in the election and kept it from the American public.
In an interview with MSNBC, Reid said the FBI knew that the CIA had concluded with a high level of certainty that the Russian government was trying to get Donald Trump elected, as reported in an explosive story in the Washington Post. “This is not fake news. Intelligence officials are hiding connections to the Russian government. There is no question,” Reid said. “Comey knew and deliberately kept this info a secret.”
Reid said he was “disappointed in Comey,” adding that the FBI chief “let the country down for partisan purposes.” Democrats were already angry at Comey for revealing less than two weeks before the election that the FBI had come across additional emails that could be related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Two days before the election he once again cleared Clinton of wrongdoing, but many in her campaign say that ended up hurting the Democratic candidate more than helping because it fed into the storyline that the election was rigged.
Reid said Comey needs to be investigated on all fronts. “I think he should be investigated by the Senate. I think he should be investigated by other agencies in the government, including the security agencies,” Reid said, before adding, “if ever there was a matter of national security, it is this.”
Incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said there should be a full, bipartisan investigation into the reports of Russian meddling in the presidential election. “Senate Democrats will join with our Republican colleagues next year to demand a congressional investigation and hearings to get to the bottom of this. It’s imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation,” Schumer said.
Others, however, sought to minimize the news. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, for example, wrote on Twitter that Russian hacking is “serious, but hardly news” because “it has been going on for years.”