Leaked Comey Memo: Not telling Congress would be “misleading to the American people”

A leaked internal memo from FBI Director James Comey briefly explains his decision from Friday to alert Congress about an update to the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Comey admits that while the FBI does not “ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations,” he had reason to make an exception this time.

Primarily, Comey says he felt “obligated” to update the Senate Oversight Committee on the FBI’s new findings because of how frequently he had testified that the FBI’s investigation was complete. With the discovery of the new emails, Comey realized the investigation was still ongoing. As such, he thought it would be “misleading to the American people” not to supplement the official record.

Comey restates that since the FBI still does not know the significance of the newly discovered emails, no conclusions should be made. He does not want to create a “misleading impression,” but feels the new information should be made available regardless. Reflecting this attitude, he ends the memo by admitting “there is significant risk of being misunderstood” when trying to strike the balance between truth and timing.

Photo of leaked memo below.

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