FBI’s Entry Into Political Fray Causes Democratic Angst

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The surprise tweet from a little-used FBI account came Tuesday, announcing that the agency had published on its website 129 pages of internal documents related to a years-old investigation into former president Bill Clinton’s pardon of a fugitive Democratic donor, the Washington Post reports. The reminder of one of the darkest chapters of the Clinton presidency a week before the election drew an immediate rebuke from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, with its spokesman tweeting that the FBI’s move was “odd” and asking, “Will FBI be posting docs on [Donald] Trump’s housing discrimination in ’70s?”

For the second time in five days, the FBI had moved exactly to the place the nation’s chief law enforcement agency usually strives to avoid: smack in the middle of partisan fighting over a national election, just days before the vote. The publication of the files related to the Marc Rich pardon inquiry, which agency officials said was posted automatically in response to pending public records requests, came as the Clinton campaign and Democratic lawmakers continued to fume over FBI Director James Comey’s decision with less than two weeks before the election to announce that he was effectively resuming a review of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. Some Democrats accused Comey of hypocrisy, citing reports that he argued internally last month that it was too close to Election Day to publicly accuse Russia of meddling in the race.  “Americans now look at the FBI and see a political entity, not a nonpartisan entity — and that has huge ramifications for the FBI and for all of us,” said Matt Miller, former chief spokesman for the Justice Department and a Clinton supporter. “It sows disbelief in our system of government and is hugely toxic.”

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