Clinton's top strategist calls FBI move "very curious and very questionable"

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Senior Clinton strategist Joel Benenson joins CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Oct. 30, 2016.

With the surprise news Friday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into new information related to Hillary Clinton’s emails, Clinton campaign chief strategist Joel Benenson called the announcement on FBI Director James Comey’s part “very curious and very questionable.”

“The FBI director took an unprecedented action,” he said. “We’ve seen in the last 24 to 48 hours former law enforcement officials, both Democratic and Republican, having served in administrations from either party, have said this is contrary to policy at the Department of Justice, the statement he put out on Friday.”

He said there’s a difference between Comey’s letter to Congress on Friday and the announcement this summer that the agency would not pursue charges against Clinton: that this summer’s announcement came after a full investigation.

“I think in fairness you can’t compare what happened in June after a long and thorough investigation versus a statement he put out, unprecedented, told his own employees in a letter, ‘I didn’t want to create any misleading impression here,’ but then that’s exactly what he did,” Benenson said. “So the bottom line is we need to know the facts.”

The campaign is focused on its closing message, Benenson said, noting record early voting turnout numbers in states like North Carolina. As for talking about the FBI invesigation, he added, “we’re going to answer questions when they come up as you just posed them to me.”

Benenson, like other Clinton campaign officials have done this weekend, called on Comey to release “the facts” of this new investigation.

“He should put out all the fact she has, clarify this and I think that’s totally reasonable under the circumstances and the critique he’s getting,” he said.

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    Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.