FBI Director James Comey has come under fire for reopening an investigation into US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails, with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accusing him of breaching federal law.
The federal authorities are set to examine roughly 650,000 emails recovered from a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, a former US congressman who was married to Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, until their divorce in late August.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada wrote a letter to Comey on Sunday, saying that the FBI chief’s decision would favor the Republican Party and may change the outcome of the November 8 election, which is against the law.
“Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another,” the letter read.
“I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act,” Reid continued.
According to the Hatchet Act, government officials are not allowed to use their influence to change the result of an election.
Comey announced his decision in a letter to Congress on Friday, only 11 days before the critical vote.
This is while Clinton had already undergone a thorough investigation for her use of a private server to exchange thousands of emails when she was secretary of state. She was cleared of all charges in July.
Reid told Comey that he regretted standing up for the bureau chief when “Republicans filibustered your nomination and delayed your confirmation longer than any previous nominee to your position.”
The attacks on Comey continued on Sunday night, when Clinton’s campaign released a letter signed by nearly 100 former prosecutors and Department of Justice officials.
“Many of us have worked with Director Comey; all of us respect him. But his unprecedented decision to publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just eleven days before a presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed,” the letter read.
Clinton’s support among voters took a nosedive following the news, allowing Republican nominee Donald Trump to reduce a 12-point gap with her to one point, according to the newest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, released Sunday.