WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats still seething over FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the election-year inquiry of Hillary Clinton confronted the law enforcement officer over his refusal to say whether the FBI is investigating possible links between President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
The contentious, closed-door session Friday reflected the frustration of Democrats who blame Comey’s statements and actions in part for Clinton’s loss to Trump. In July, Comey announced the findings of the FBI investigation that found Clinton’s use of a private email server was “extremely careless” but not criminal. Then, days before the Nov. 8 election, he sent two letters to Congress, one announcing a review of newly found emails and then another saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
The Justice Department inspector general announced this week that he is investigating Comey and the department.
Democrats and Republicans who attended the all-member briefing on Friday with Comey and senior intelligence officials said several lawmakers pressed him in a tense session about his refusal to say whether there is an examination of alleged contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said the meeting was contentious but said Comey handled himself well under difficult circumstances.
“Yesterday morning if you asked me if I thought Comey was at the end of his career … I probably would have said ‘I think so,'” King said. “Now I think he deserves to be reassessed, just by the way he handled himself. I was impressed.”
Clearly frustrated with Comey was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who was forced to resign as head of the Democratic National Committee after hacked emails surfaced that suggested the party operation favored Clinton over her primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
She confronted Comey, according to a Democrat who attended the briefing. Lawmakers and other congressional officials spoke on condition of anonymity to freely discuss the private meeting.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., repeatedly asked Comey if he…