A confidential intelligence briefing in the House on Friday left Democrats furious about FBI Director James Comey's role heading the agency, The Hill reports. "I was nonjudgmental until the last 15 minutes. I no longer have that confidence in him," Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) said. "Some of the things that were revealed in this classified briefing — my confidence has been shook."
The intelligence discussed in the briefing specifically concerned Russian interference in the presidential election last year. "I'm extremely concerned — extremely," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). "I'll just — I'm very angry," agreed Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.). Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) also fumed to The Hill: "I want to [have faith in Comey]. I have concerns. Stay tuned."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was more measured, saying, "Let's find out how [Comey and the FBI] thought it was a good idea to make the judgments they did, and understanding — weighing full well — that the Russians were actively engaged in disrupting our election." Republicans did not have the same reaction: "The FBI director is a good man who was placed in a very difficult position," defended Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.).
The House meeting comes on the heels of the Justice Department inspector general office's announcement Thursday that it is opening an investigation into Comey's decision to inform Congress that the FBI was looking at newly found emails related to Clinton's private server. The emails quickly proved irrelevant, but Clinton has said the move, which renewed scrutiny of her email practices days before the election, was a key factor in her narrow loss to President-elect Donald Trump.