Two top Hillary Clinton lieutenants launched a tag team attack on Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey this afternoon, accusing him of sitting on information linking Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin—while at the same he divulged vague hints about a recently discovered cache of emails connected to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and press secretary Brian Fallon bashed Comey yet again for what they claimed was interference with the American electoral process. Going further than Mook did in a press call on Saturday, the pair echoed outgoing Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in claiming the FBI has withheld crucial evidence illustrating the intertwining of the Trump campaign, Putin-tied Eurasian oligarchs, Russian intelligence and the website Wikileaks.
“The Kremlin was behind a direct effort to undermine our democracy,” said Mook, referring to the electronic trail connecting Moscow to the damaging hacks of email accounts belonging to the Democratic National Committee and to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. “It is impossible to view this as anything less than a blatant double standard.”
Comey ignited a political furor when he sent a letter to Congress on Friday stating that his agents had struck upon a new trove of emails “pertinent” to the bureau’s probe of Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as secretary of state. As it turned out, investigators had found the messages on a laptop Abedin shared with her estranged husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner—a man facing federal allegations that he sexted a 15-year-old girl.
Mook reiterated the campaign’s earlier demand that the FBI release the full details of the newly discovered Clinton-related correspondence, believed to total thousands of messages. He also demanded Comey fully expose his agency’s research into the Trump-Russia connection, which the director declined confirm even existed when he testified before Congress in September .
“We are calling on director Comey to put everything out on the table. The voters are smart, they can come to their own conclusion,” the campaign manager said. “He chose to comment on evidence that he had never seen. We are asking hiim to comment on investigations into associations between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian actors.”
Fallon largely echoed Mook.
“This is a pretty astonishing double standard,” he said. “If the Trump campaign or allies of the Donald Trump campaign are part of that investigation, he should say so.”
The press secretary remembered Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, a former consultant for Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin sycophant who ran Ukraine before the parliament voted to remove him from office in 2014 in response to popular protest. Manafort stepped down from Trump’s campaign after evidence emerged that the Yanukovych regime had illegally funneled money to him for lobbying the U.S. government.
He also recalled Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy advisor who stepped down after his trips to Moscow and relations with Russian energy companies attracted notice. Fallon also highlighted longtime Trump ally Roger Stone’s admission that he has a “back-channel” to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. Assange’s site has published much of the hacked Democratic correspondence in a self-professed effort to damage Clinton’s campaign.
“The election meddling that Director Comey refused to comment on has raised greater questions about the Trump campaign apparatus,” said Fallon. “Director Comey has set a standard now for narrating a play by play of investigations.”
Fallon did not mention numerous reports indicating Trump has extensive business ties to Putin allies, and may have benefited from Russian loans. The public does not have access to the full details of these relationships because the Republican candidate has broken with decades of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns.
He also did not allude to Reid’s specific claim that the FBI possesses “explosive information” tying Trump to Putin’s government.
In an internal memo leaked to the press. Comey explained to his department that he felt “an obligation” to take the unusual step of notifying Congress of the new evidence in the Clinton investigation because he had repeatedly testified before them that the probe was complete.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.