The unprecedented decision by James Comey, the FBI's director, to insert the law enforcement agency into the midst of a presidential election has been roundly criticized by everyone from former George W. Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzalez to Fox News' Chris Wallace. But the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is so pleased by the agency's decision to announce the discovery of new emails that may be related to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, it's now openly boasting of gaining advance notice of the move by the FBI.
Appearing on Fox News on Oct. 25, top Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani could barely contain his excitement as he teased a blockbuster development that would shake up the presidential race in the GOP nominee's favor.
“Does Donald Trump plan anything except a series of inspiring rallies?” Brian Kilmeade, host of "Fox & Friends," asked.
“Yes,” Giuliani replied with a massive grin.
“What?” co-host Ainsely Earhardt curiously asked.
“Ha ha ha,” Giuliani laughed. “You’ll see.”
The former New York City mayor promised, “We got a couple of surprises left. . . . And I think it’ll be enormously effective."
He continued: "I think [Trump’s] got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I’m talking about some pretty big surprises. . . . And I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact.”
Three days later, on Oct. 28, Comey's letter to congressional leaders about the FBI's review of the new Clinton emails was leaked by Republicans.
And now this Friday morning, Giuliani returned to "Fox & Friends," giddy over the tightening of polls in battleground states.
Echoing reports that FBI agents supportive of Trump's campaign had been enraged by Comey's decision in July to not file criminal charges against the former secretary of state for her use of a private email server, Giulani told Fox News that “outraged FBI agents” had complained to him about how the Clinton investigation had been handled and thought Comey's latest "bombshell" announcement would have come sooner.
"To tell you the truth, I thought it was going to be three or four weeks ago," he said.
Unprompted, Giuliani then attempted to distance himself from appearing to have played a role in orchestrating the last-minute October surprise.
“I did nothing to get it out; I had no role in it,” Giuliani said. “Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it, and I can’t even repeat the language that I heard from the former FBI agents.”
— Correct The Record (@CorrectRecord) November 4, 2016
Friday afternoon, Democratic Reps. Elijah E. Cummings and John Conyers, the Ranking Members of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary, asked the Justice Department’s internal watchdog to investigate leaks of information about the FBI investigation, citing Giuliani's comments.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for the FBI to leak unsubstantiated ― and in some cases false ― information about one presidential candidate to benefit the other candidate. Leaking this information to former FBI officials as a conduit to the Trump campaign is equally intolerable,” a letter to the DOJ states.“These unauthorized and inaccurate leaks from within the FBI, particularly so close to a presidential election, are unprecedented.”
Full letter below:
This morning, Rudy Giuliani—one of Donald Trump’s closest and most vocal campaign advisers—appeared on national television and confirmed that he had obtained leaked information about the FBI’s review of Clinton-related emails several days beforeFBI Director James Comey sent his letter to Congress last Friday about this matter.
In fact, Mr. Giuliani went even further and bragged about the information he had obtained, stating: “Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it.”
Already, Director Comey’s letter from last Friday had broken with longstanding precedent by confirming publicly that the FBI was in the process of taking investigative steps relating to newly-discovered emails, despite the fact that Director Comey had not yet even seen these emails or determined whether they were “significant.”
It is absolutely unacceptable for the FBI to leak unsubstantiated—and in some cases false—information about one presidential candidate to benefit the other candidate. Leaking this information to former FBI officials as a conduit to the Trump campaign is equally intolerable.
For example, on Wednesday, Fox News anchor Bret Baier claimed on national television—based on multiple leaks—that the FBI was “actively and aggressively” investigating the Clinton Foundation and that an indictment was “likely.” This morning, however, Mr. Baier was forced to correct his report, admitting that it was “a mistake.”
These unauthorized and inaccurate leaks from within the FBI, particularly so close to a presidential election, are unprecedented. For these reasons, we are calling on your office to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the sources of these and other leaks from the FBI and to recommend appropriate action.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.