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Former AG Eric Holder: FBI Director James Comey made a "serious mistake"

FBI director faces backlash
FBI director faces backlash over latest Clinton email disclosure 03:36

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is blasting his former colleague FBI Director James Comey for violating long-standing Justice Department policies by writing a letter to Congress last week about finding potentially new emails related to the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.

In an editorial published late Sunday in The Washington Post, Holder said he is “deeply concerned” with Comey’s decision.

“That decision was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season,” Holder wrote.

Holder, who served as President Obama’s attorney general from 2009 until April 2015, explained that the policy has remained in effect and applies to the entire Justice Department including the FBI. The department also has a practice of not commenting on ongoing investigations, he wrote, as well as “not taking unnecessary action close in time to Election Day that might influence an election’s outcome.”

“Director Comey broke with these fundamental principles. I fear he has unintentionally and negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI,” Holder wrote, adding that it has allowed for “misinformation to be spread by partisans.”

Holder also criticized Comey for publicly announcing in July his recommendation to the Justice Department that it not bring charges against Clinton for her use of email servers as secretary of state. Comey has led the FBI since 2013.

“That was a stunning breach of protocol. It may set a dangerous precedent for future investigations. It was wrong,” Holder wrote.

Holder was among dozens of former federal prosecutors who signed a letter over the weekend critical of Comey’s decision, according to the Associated Press.

No one knows yet, including Comey, what the emails contain, if they were directly related to Clinton or if there was any wrongdoing involved. Investigators obtained a search warrant Sunday to look through thousands of emails on a laptop used by Anthony Weiner, which also contained emails from his estranged wife Huma Abedin, a top aide to Clinton.

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